CHICAGO (AP) — Steve Cishek missed with his pitch location. Eugenio Suárez didn’t miss with his swing.
Suárez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Cishek, one of the Cubs’ more reliable relievers, to rally the Cincinnati Reds over Chicago 6-5 on Friday.
Joey Votto drew a leadoff walk from Cishek (1-2) and Suarez hit the next pitch for his 14th home run.
“That was a big hit right there,” Suárez said. “I got to enjoy that one.
“Everybody knows (Cishek) is a tough pitcher, with his sidearm (motion), he’s got a really good sinker. But at that time, he missed that ball right down the strike zone and I was ready for his fastball.”
Cishek said he missed with a sinker as he blew a save for the second time in six chances. It landed deep in Wrigley Field’s left-center bleachers.
“I was locked in today,” Cishek said. “It was really just a lack of execution. It was a sinker, a two-seamer. It was supposed to be down-and-away. Who knows where it ended up, right into his barrel.”
Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer and an RBI single for the Reds after missing two games with a sprained right shoulder.
Last-place Cincinnati came back twice in this this one to beat the NL Central-leading Cubs for the third time in four games this season.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, a lot of things have to go right, guys came through,” manager David Bell said. “I think it’s right up there in the top couple (wins of the year) for sure.”
Anthony Rizzo homered for the third straight game, and Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant also went deep to help Chicago take an early 4-0 lead.
Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras singled home Rizzo in the eighth to put Chicago ahead 5-4. Jesse Winker’s double off Brad Brach in the Reds seventh tied it at 4.
David Hernandez (1-2) got one out and the win despite giving up Contreras’ RBI single.
Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th in 13 chances as the Reds bullpen allowed just one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“We put a lot on them and they came through,” Bell said.
Kyle Hendricks retired the first 10 batters, then allowed three runs on six hits in a six-inning no-decision. After 99 pitches, the right-hander was replaced by Brach to begin the seventh.
Anthony DeSclafani was roughed up for the fourth straight start, yielding four runs on five hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Schwarber hit his first career leadoff homer, a 449-foot drive bounced on the rear aisle of the right-field bleachers and on to Sheffield Avenue.
After Schwarber walked with two outs in the third, Bryant lifted his 12th homer to right-center. Rizzo followed with his 14th, striking the right field scoreboard for the second time in three games to make it 4-0.
Votto’s bloop double to center with one out in the fourth gave Cincinnati its first hit and baserunner. After Hendricks hit Winker with a pitch, Puig lined an RBI single.
Puig’s two-run shot off Hendricks to left-center in the sixth closed it to 4-3. The Reds tied it 4-all in seventh off Brach on three straight hits, capped by Winker’s double, with two outs.
Amir Garrett entered with one out in the seventh and notched his 10th straight out by strikeout (over four appearances) when he got Schwarber looking. Bryant ended Garrett’s string with a comebacker to the 6-foot-5 Reds left-hander to close out the inning.
Hendricks was 3-0 in five May starts with a 1.96 ERA. His run started with a four-hit, complete-game shutout of St. Louis on May 3.
Schwarber batted first for the ninth time this season and 50th time in his career.
The Reds recalled RHP Matt Bowman from and optioned OF Phillip Ervin to Triple-A Louisville. Bowman entered in the sixth and retired all four hitters he faced.
The Cubs recalled RHP James Norwood and returned RHP Rowan Wick to Triple-A Iowa. Norwood is 1-0 with a 4.95 ERA and three saves with Iowa. Wick was called up on Wednesday and gave up one run in one inning in Chicago’s 9-7 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
Reds: Puig played right field and batted fifth. He injured his shoulder making a catch and crashing into the wall in Cincinnati on Sunday. ... Bell said INF Scooter Gennett (60-day IL, severe groin strain) took fielding drills and swung bat this week. There’s no timetable for his return.
Cubs: RHP Pedro Strop (left hamstring strain) is scheduled for another bullpen session Saturday. Manager Joe Maddon considers Strop’s return as key to shoring up the Cubs’ inconsistent bullpen. “The (Cubs’) biggest weakness — it’s no big secret — the bullpen, we’ve had different issues with that,” Maddon said. “Getting Stropy back is huge.”
Reds RHP Tyler Mahle (1-5, 3.51) faces Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.06) on Saturday. Darvish doesn’t have a decision in four previous starts, but in his last two has struck out 18 while trimming his walks to three. Mahle got his first win a week ago against the Dodgers after starting the season with five losses.