Shortly after home plate umpire Shane Livensparger replenished his supply of baseballs, the game was decided, but not by a home run.
NIck Castellanos punched a game-ending, walk-off single to center field in the 10th inning, providing the Reds with an exhausting 13-12 win.
It was Castellanos’ fifth hit, that included two of the game’s 10 home runs, and came off Chicago closer Craig Kimbrell. He entered the game working on 18 1/3 straight scoreless innings.
The 10th began with ghost runner Jesse Winker on second and he took third on catcher Willson Contreras’ passed ball.
Chicago manager David Ross brought an outfielder into the infield, a five-man infield alignment, but Castellanos dropped it into short center field to end it.
Who hit home runs? Who didn’t?
For the Cubs, Kris Bryant hit two and Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Ian Happ each cranked one. For the Reds, Castellanos hit two and Mike Moustakas, Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart each clobbered one.
Castellnos, though, didn’t need a homer in the 10th, just a well-placed blooper.
“I was frustrated with the way the game ended Saturday,” said Castellanos, referring to a 3-2 loss when the Reds had runners on third and first with no outs in the ninth and didn’t score.
Castellanos made the last out on a ground ball and said, “I was not happy with that effort in my at bat, so I’m happy I had another opportunity today.”
The home-run barrage began in the third inning when the teams combined for five. It was the first time five home runs have been hit in one inning in a Cincinnati ball park since 1961. That was two ball parks ago, Crosley Field, and the San Francisco Giants hit all five.
This time the Cubs hit two and the Reds bashed three.
Bryant and Rizzo went deep for Chicago, the seventh time they’ve both hit home runs in the same inning, four times against the Reds.
That gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead, a short-lived one that lasted only until the Reds came to bat.
With one out, Winker singled and Castellanos ambushed a 3-and-0 pitch and drove it over the left field fence to tie it, 4-4. With two outs, Moustakas homered to right and Suarez exploded a 426-foot home run to give the Reds a 6-4 lead.
Bryant homered for the second time with two outs in the fifth and the Cubs tied it, 6-6, in the sixth on Matt Duffy’s double and Nico Hoerner’s double.
Two hit batsman, one with the bases loaded that forced in a run, and Suarez’s two-run single highlighted a three-run sixth for the Reds and a 9-6 lead.
Over? Not even close.
Baez crushed a two-run home run high into the grass beyond the center field wall in the seventh to pull the Cubs back to within one, 9-8.
The Reds strapped on their long ball gear again in the seventh, a two-run rip by Barnhart and the second of the game by Castellanos to make it 12-8.
Over? Not even close.
Reds relief pitcher Tejay Antone walked two in the eighth and a run scored when pinch-hitter Jake Marisnick delivered a run-scoring single.
Up came University of Cincinnati Happ and out went another home run, a three-run rip that tied it, 12-12.
Needless to say, it was not a banner day for the starting pitchers. Chicago’s Trevor Williams pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up six runs, six hits (three home runs), walked four and struck out two. Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle pitched five innings and gave up six runs, nine hits (three homers), walked none and struck out five.
In addition to the five hits by Castellanos, Suarez contributed to the team’s 16-hit attack with three hits, only his second multi=hit game of the season.
White Sox at Reds, 6:40 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410