Jay Bruce returned to the Reds lineup with a YAK EM!!! to put Cincinnati up 1-0 in the second inning. Micah Hoffpauir immediately answered with a bomb of his own to lead off the Cubs half of the inning and tie it right up at one run a piece.
Aramis Ramirez then ripped the cover off the ball, and a nice play by Dickerson in left held him to a single.
Mike Fontenot drew a walk and after Soto hit a deep fly to right center allowing Ramirez to take third, the scorching hot Ryan Theriot (trailing only Ryan Ludwick in batting average thus far) singled up the middle, sending Aramis home and the Cubs up 2-1.
Rich Harden then showed his blazing Canadian speed and beat out a sac bunt attempt to load the bases.
This sent Dick Pole to the mound before Owings would face Alfonso Soriano, who flied out in the first. Soriano left, despite his monster start, what seems like his 98th, 99th, and 100th men on base by striking out ahead of Kosuke Fukudome’s laser beam flyout to center to end the inning.
The fourth inning saw a couple of strange happenings…First a calico cat streaked across the outfield, finally removed by a groundscrew member, in quite the hilarious fashion.
Then Joey Votto walked and stole second base, and with two outs Jay Bruce drove a ball opposite field to the the near exact spot of 2003’s Bartman incident.
The fan caught the ball this time, and it seemed to be clearly uncatchable, but that didn’t stop the Wrigley faithful from raining down a chorus of boos directed at the fan. Alfie stared down the moron for a moment before Bruce singled Votto home on the next pitch to tie it at two, bringing about more boos from the stands.
Of course George Grande and “The Cowboy” couldn’t shut their mouths about the Bartman play for the rest of the inning, and Fox Sports Ohio even cued up the play immediately, and again in the bottom of the sixth so “The Cowboy” and Grande could cackle some more about it. So. Much. Hate.
Reds starter Micah Owings (0-2) lasted only 4 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, four walks and four earned runs, before giving way to Mike Lincoln with runners on the corners and two outs.
The Cubs got three runs in the fifth, the first on a Hoffpauir sac fly and the second on a Ramirez single to right. Following Ramirez’s single, Owings was lifted and Lincoln promptly hit Mike Fontenot to load the bases.
The Cubs then benefited yet again from a bases loaded walk, as Geovany Soto drew the RBI free-pass to make it 5-2 Chicago.
Ramirez, who finished 3-for-5, added a two-out two-run single in the bottom of the sixth for the final 7-2 margin.
Rich Harden (1-1) worked six innings for the win, giving up two earned runs, striking out eight batters, allowing three hits and walking two on 92 pitches.
Aaron Heilman worked the seventh around a one out double by Ramon Hernandez. Neil Cotts struck out Taveras to start the eighth before giving up a single to Chris Dickerson and walking Joey Votto, forcing Piniella to make the call for Marmol. Carlos got Phillips to fly out to center and then struck out Jay Bruce to end the inning.
Luis Vizcaino got the first two outs in the ninth before giving up an off-the-wall double to Alex Gonzalez. Jerry Hairston Jr. then pinch-hit in the pitchers spot and looked at strike three to cue “Go Cubs Go”.
The Cubs move to 8-4 on the season and drop the Reds to 7-6.