Baez Homers twice, Cubs beat Reds 8-5

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CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 28: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the seventh inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 28, 2020 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Javier Báez homered twice, doubled and scored on a deft dive to the plate, Alec Mills went six solid innings, and the Chicago Cubs extended their strong opening surge, beating the Cincinnati Reds 8-5 on Tuesday night.

Chicago has won four of its first five games, scoring first in each one. Jason Kipnis’ triple — Shogo Akiyama lost it in the sun — got the Cubs going again.

Mills (1-0) added to Chicago’s stretch of impressive starts. Mills, who made four spot starts last season, held the Reds to two hits in six innings. Chicago’s starters have a 1.80 ERA and a .131 opponent batting average this season.

The Reds got two-run homers by Nick Castellanos — his first since signing a $64 million deal — and Freddy Galvis but fell to 1-4, tied for the worst start in the majors.

Báez had a solo shot and a two-run homer as the Cubs pulled away.

Kipnis tripled in the third off Tyler Mahle — Akiyama lost sight of the ball in center field — and scored on Nico Hoerner’s single. Kipnis added an RBI single an inning later.

Akiyama was in center field for Nick Senzel, who missed his third game because of sickness. The Reds had no update on his condition Tuesday. Senzel remains on the active roster.

Matt Davidson went on the injured list Saturday after testing for the coronavirus. Senzel and Mike Moustakas felt sick a day later, and the Reds put Moustakas on the injured list.

Castellanos tied it 2-2 with his first homer, but Báez put the Cubs back ahead in the fifth with a double off Cody Reed (0-1) followed by a great dive. He scored from second on Kyle Schwarber’s single to left, besting Aristides Aquino’s perfect throw by stretching his left hand over the corner of the plate to avoid the tag, putting Chicago ahead to stay.

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