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Izturis' hit in 13th sends Reds past Cubs

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
Caption
(Al Behrman)
Cincinnati Reds' Cesar Izturis, left, is mobbed by teammates after he drove in the winning run with a single off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Michael Bowden in the bottom of the 13th inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 5-4. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI – Reds manager Dusty Baker's mind was worn out from another long, long game. At least he could smile.

The Chicago Cubs? Numb, just like always.

Jay Bruce hit a tying double and scored on Cesar Izturis' two-out single in the 13th inning Monday night, rallying Cincinnati to a 5-4 victory that gave the Cubs their fourth straight loss.

The Reds used seven pitchers, 11 position players and one pinch hitter during their latest overtime win, this one lasting 4 hours, 35 minutes.

"I'm worn out from thinking — double-switching, trying to keep the pitchers in as long as we could," Baker said. "That was a good one to win — a great one. That's one of the best comebacks I've seen."

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the top of the 13th off Alfredo Simon (2-1) for a 4-2 Cubs lead. But like so many other times this season, Chicago couldn't pull out a close game.

Michael Bowden (0-1) gave up a single by Xavier Paul, Brandon Phillips' double and Bruce's two-run double that tied it. Bruce moved up to third on Todd Frazier's groundout.

Izturis then lined a single past diving shortstop Starlin Castro, sending the Reds to their seventh victory in eight games on their homestand.

Long games are the norm in Cincinnati, where the Reds have gone extra innings four times and had another game suspended overnight because of rain. They've played 13 innings three times.

"Long game," Izturis said. "I'm glad we got the win. When you go down two runs it's hard to get back in it, but we did it."

The Cubs have dropped seven of eight and 12 of 15, leaving them in last place in the NL Central at 5-13. They've become accustomed to losing close ones — all 18 of their games have been decided by four runs or fewer.

"It's hard to be down," Cubs starter Travis Wood said. "It's not like we're getting blown out every game. We're right there. We've just got to figure out a way to pull them out."

The game matched two starters who recently went head-to-head for the fifth spot in Cincinnati's rotation. Both gave up a pair of runs and didn't figure in the decision.

Wood, who was Cincinnati's second-round draft pick in 2005, couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in the seventh. Bruce led off with his first homer of the season and Chris Heisey singled. Jack Hannahan came off the bench and hit a triple off James Russell — his fifth pinch hit of the season — to tie it.

Wood was traded to the Cubs along with two minor leaguers for reliever Sean Marshall after the 2011 season, when the Reds chose to keep right-hander Mike Leake at the back of their rotation. Leake, who was Cincinnati's top pick in the June 2009 draft, had never pitched against Wood before.

David DeJesus opened the game with a home run on Leake's third pitch, the 13th leadoff homer of his career. Castro's RBI single in the third inning made it 2-0 and gave him a 14-game hitting streak, matching the best of his career. It's the longest active streak in the majors.

Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart was back in the lineup after missing one game with an injured index finger. He got hit by a ball while trying to bunt on Saturday and initially thought it was broken. X-rays were negative.

Yet another Reds player got hurt Monday, though.

Reliever Jonathan Broxton left in the eighth inning after knocking down Nate Schierholtz's liner up the middle. A trainer examined Broxton's right hand, and the pitcher flexed it several times before leaving the game. X-rays were negative.

The defending NL Central champions have been hit hard by injuries. Marshall, top starter Johnny Cueto, cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick and catcher Ryan Hanigan are on the disabled list.

Shin-Soo Choo kept getting hit — and getting on base — at a phenomenal pace. Wood hit him in the right arm with a pitch in the sixth. Choo has been hit by pitches 10 times already, a Reds record for one month. It's the most times a major leaguer has been hit by a pitch in a month since Houston's Craig Biggio was plunked 10 times in August 1997.

Choo has reached base safely in 14 of his 18 plate appearances over the last three games.

NOTES: Marshall started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He hasn't pitched this season because of shoulder tendinitis. ... Castro also hit in 14 games from the end of the 2011 season through the start of 2012. ... The Reds have fanned at least 10 batters in five straight games for the first time in modern franchise history.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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