CINCINNATI (AP) – Trevor Bauer fanned 11 batters in his Reds home debut Friday night, and Aristides Aquino homered again as Yasiel Puig’s replacement, leading Cincinnati to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
The Reds’ biggest July trade paid off both ways against the NL Central leaders. Cincinnati got Bauer from the Indians as part of a three-team deal last week, sending Puig – one of their hottest hitters at midseason – to Cleveland.
Bauer (10-8) struggled in his first start with the Reds, acknowledging he was trying too hard during a 5-4 loss in Atlanta. On the mound at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, he kept a hot Cubs offense in check, allowing three hits in seven innings, including Nicholas Castellanos’ third homer of the series.
No surprise that Bauer dominated Chicago. He has won each of his four career starts against the Cubs, allowing a total of two runs in 26 2/3 innings.
Chicago was coming off a 12-5 win in the series opener that featured a season-high 19 hits. Bauer escaped two-on threats in the fourth and sixth innings, fanning Ian Happ on a 96 mph fastball to finish off the sixth.
It was Bauer’s seventh game of the season with double-digit strikeouts. His season-high is 12 against the Royals on June 26.
Aquino, an International League All-Star, was called up to play right field when Puig was traded. He hit a two-run homer off Yu Darvish (4-6), his fourth in eight games as Puig’s fill-in. The last player with four homers in his first nine games with Cincinnati was Corey Patterson in 2008.
Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto had solo shots off Darvish, who struck out nine in six innings. Darvish allowed three homers only one other time this season, against the Reds at Wrigley Field on May 25.
The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth off Michael Lorenzen. Amir Garrett hit Anthony Rizzo to force in a run before escaping the threat. Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.