The Associated Press
CHICAGO–The Chicago Cubs waited all season for a hot streak from NL MVP Kris Bryant.
Now that he’s on one, they want it to last a while.
“My history with him is when he gets it, it stays there,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers to cap a five-run fourth inning as the Cubs continued their recent dominance of the Cincinnati Reds with a 15-5 victory last night.
Bryant went 2-for-4 with a walk and now has reached safely in 16 of his last 20 plate appearances.
“It’s a special stretch,” said Rizzo, who was 3-for-5 with a season-high five RBIs.
“It was a matter of time before he’s doing what he’s doing,” he added.
“It’s fun to watch.”
Jon Jay had three hits with an RBI, and finished a home run shy of the cycle, as the Cubs extended their NL Central lead to 1.5 games over idle St. Louis.
Jose Quintana (3-2) allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in five innings to snap a three-start winless stretch.
Chicago has 25 wins in its last 32 games against the Reds. The Cubs have swept the last two series at Wrigley Field between the teams going back to last season, and won 11 of the past 13 meetings there the last two years.
Scooter Gennett hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Reds, who have five players with at least 20 home runs to tie a club record.
Gennett also mopped up on the mound after beginning the game at second base.
Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco broke his left foot when he was hit by a pitch in the second.
Joey Votto went 3-for-5 to set a Cincinnati mark by reaching base at least twice in 19-consecutive games.
It’s the longest streak in the majors since Barry Bonds did it in 20-straight back in 2004.
Maddon used four outfielders when Votto came to the plate in the fifth. He still managed to double down the right-field line.
“I did it in Tampa Bay with [Jim] Thome, [David] Ortiz and [Travis] Hafner and, I think, Josh Hamilton, too,” Maddon recalled.
“Votto right now is ungodly so whatever you do, you’re taking chances.”
“No matter the alignment in the infield or outfield, I do the exact same thing,” said Votto.
“When I get caught up with what’s going on defensively is when I get myself in trouble with my approach.”
Reds’ starter Asher Wojciehowski (3-2) appeared to settle down after a rough first inning, but couldn’t get the final out in the fourth.
With Jason Heyward at first and two outs, Jay tripled into the right-field corner to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.
Tommy La Stella followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.
Bryant then cracked a two-run homer and Rizzo followed with a solo shot for a 7-2 edge.
The Cubs scored six times in the seventh–highlighted by reliever Mike Montgomery’s two-run double and Rizzo’s two-run single–to make it 12-2.
After the Reds scored three times in the eighth, Javier Baez hit a two-run homer off Gennett in the bottom of the inning.
The game marked the beginning of a stretch of 24-straight for the Cubs against teams currently with losing records.
Elsewhere in the NL, Miami beat San Francisco 8-3, Colorado blanked Atlanta 3-0, and San Diego downed Philadelphia 7-4.