Reds rattle Lieber, Cubs
By Joe Kay
CINCINNATI ó Nothing special about Joey Vottoís first homer, a hanging slider that he pulled into the seats in right field for a modest, one-run lead.
What followed was breathtaking.
Jon Lieber became only the second pitcher in Chicago Cubs history to give up four homers in an inning, and Votto connected three times in all as the Cincinnati Reds powered their way to a 9-0 victory Wednesday.
iIím like a kid,î said Votto, a second-year player who had never hit more than one in a game. iI thought it was cool. Itís not a big part of my game.î
On a wet, windy afternoon, the home run was everything.
Votto started a four-homer second inning off Lieber (2-2), making his first start of the season. Adam Dunn and Paul Bako also had solo shots, and Jerry Hairston Jr.ís two-run homer completed the rally.
Known throughout his career for impeccable control, Lieber joined Phil Norton as the only Cubs pitchers to allow four homers in an inning ó a surprising statistic, considering how the wind often blows out at Wrigley.
iIt just happened so fast,î said Lieber, who had never given up more than three in a game. iYou try and regroup, and it just didnít happen. Basically, (pitches were) across the middle of the plate. Iím the kind of pitcher thatís not going to get away with stuff like that.î
The inning was over, but Votto and the Reds werenít even close to finished.
Brandon Phillips and Votto had back-to-back solo homers off Sean Marshall in the fifth, with Votto sending a fastball into the Redsí bullpen in center.
An inning later, Votto went to the opposite field on a fastball from Sean Gallagher, a two-run homer that left him with seven overall for the season.
Given a chance to try for a fourth, Votto grounded out in the eighth inning against Michael Wuertz.
iIím not going to lie: It was in the back of my head,î Votto said. iI thought if I got a good swing on a good pitch, I had a chance to do some good. In games like this, you donít know why it happens. You just go with the flow, and thatís what I did.î
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