CHICAGO – It was one of those moments, in the second half of Wednesday, where Mike MinorThe beginning could have taken a turn for the worse.
Minor allowed three consecutive songs and one run to start the second half. After hitting hitter number 9 in the Chicago Cubs lineup, Minor was tasked with escaping a jam against the top of the batting standings with the runners in the corners.
What happened next changed everything about the minor’s start. Nick Madrigal hit a guy who jumped one hill and Minor blindly reached for his glove behind his back. The ball rebounded in the Minor’s glove, which took the 34-year-old a moment to tackle, and sparked a double in the end.
“I honestly surprised myself,” Minor said after the Cincinnati Reds’ 7-1 win at Wrigley Field. “I got the ball, I turned around and didn’t really know where to throw it.”
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Three pitches After Minor’s signature double play, Aristides Aquino launched a suspended slide toward the stratosphere. Aquino’s single, leaving his racket at 113 miles per hour, flew from Wrigley Field to Waveland Street, giving people watching from rooftops almost a keepsake.
Cubs left-footed Ian Happe didn’t even move during his Aquino run, and most of the fans in the left-field stands of the 27,945 crowd just turned their heads as the ball overtook them on its 438-foot flight. It was the most injured ball to hit the Reds this season.
“I’ve been working hard,” said Aquino, who changed his stance. “I haven’t had a great year, but I’ve been working hard to finish the season strong. It means a lot.”
Aquino is back in left field at the top of the ninth inning, connecting to another hanging slide for a 390-foot single blast. This was the third match of his multi-road career – all against the Cubs. He has 12 Homers in 28 career matches against the Cubs. Twenty-six world leaders have won in 194 games against the rest of the league.
As much as Aquino has struggled to make it through the past three seasons, his teammates are a reminder of his potential if he can pull together some consistency.
Reds manager David Bale said: “It is exciting to see him head towards the board with confidence. “The harder he works, the more successful he is, and the trust that continues to be built. That’s what we focus on.”
Minor gave up 10 singles and walked one in 5 and 2/3 runs, but only ran one. He was the first Major League Soccer player to allow at least 10 hits, one inning or less and win since Shane Bieber on June 17, 2018 against Minnesota. Take advantage of three double plays to eliminate traffic on base lanes.
“When things aren’t going well, you don’t want to stray from what you’re trying to do,” said Reds’ Chucky Robinson. “He’s been doing it for a really long time. I think you keep one step at a time, one step at a time, and finally he takes his steps and starts doing more pitches. Just fill in (the hit area) and trust the defense, frankly, because you don’t You can defend walking.”
“This is Mike,” Bell said. “He knows how to promote and he definitely showed up.”
It was the first time Minor had allowed less than two rounds at the start of this season. His attack rewarded him with a lead in the fourth inning when Jake Fraley drove a counter field, and soloed Homer off Cubs writer Javier the Lion. The Fraley had seven queues in the 81 at-bats range.
Minor, who started the season with a 1-10 record in his first 13 games, has been 3-0 in his last four games.
“I felt like we sort of figured out how to attack guys with the things I have this year,” Minor said. “Chuckie here and Romijn, those guys did a hell of a job behind the plate. With my stuff short, they’ve done a really good job of calling the pitches and trying to work through the lineups.”
The Reds rounded hitting order in the sixth inning, turning a one-round match into a singles defeat. Six consecutive players made it to the base against three separate cubs shooters. Spencer Steer, batting with loaded bases, hit one on the RBI field and scored an extra inning when third baseman Christopher Morrell threw the ball into the bunker for a foul.
Donovan Solano continued the rally with an RBI solo ground ball across the right side of the field and Aquino followed with an RBI solo bat into the right field. This was Aquino’s second match of three in his last four matches.
“That’s the best,” Aquino said, “because we usually say when you break your racket and it does the RBI, you say the hitter feels really good.”
Aquino, no doubt, feels good. It’s 8-16 in the last five games, with three fortunes and seven games.