The Cincinnati Reds came up with a game plan to steal a game from Jake Arrieta, and they ran with it.
Billy Hamilton stole his 51st base, and the Reds swiped six in all, beating the Chicago Cubs 7-2 Thursday in Cincinnati.
Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier each stole twice, and Kristopher Negron added one more. The last time the Reds stole at least six was 2006 against Washington.
The Reds had six steals in the first four innings, using six hits and four walks to build a 6-0 lead against Arrieta (7-5).
Cincinnati stole three in a three-run second inning, and two in a three-run fourth. All six steals came at second base, with John Baker catching Arrieta.
“We knew it would be hard to score on Arrieta,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We wanted to create some opportunities by being aggressive. We did a good job, all the way through, not just the first time through the lineup.”
Dylan Axelrod (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings of two-hit ball, and struck out eight.
Axelrod was taking injured Homer Bailey’s spot in the starting rotation, and made his first start for the Reds since Aug. 16 in Colorado. Axelrod left that game with a lead, only to have the bullpen give it up.
Cubs rookie Jorge Soler doubled and singled in his second major league game, and drove in a run. He homered and singled in his debut on Wednesday.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup for the second straight day with tightness in his lower back. Manager Rick Renteria hopes to have him back for the upcoming series in St. Louis.
Indians 3, White Sox 2: Carlos Carrasco pitched into the seventh inning, and Michael Bourn had two triples among his three hits, leading Cleveland to a victory over the White Sox in Chicago.
Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley each singled in a run for the Indians, who have won four of five and 11 of 16 overall to remain in the hunt for an AL wild card.
Alexei Ramirez had two hits for the White Sox, and John Danks (9-9) pitched six solid innings.
Carrasco (6-4) improved to 3-0 with a sparkling 0.73 ERA in four starts since he returned to the rotation. The right-hander also began the year as a starter, but then lost three of his first four outings.
He struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings while holding the White Sox to one run and four hits.
Cleveland grabbed the lead for good in the sixth. Jose Ramirez led off with a single and stole second. He then advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Kipnis’ base hit, giving the Indians a 2-1 advantage.
Danks allowed two runs and five hits while falling to 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five August starts.
Chicago closed to 3-2 on Adam Dunn’s RBI single in the eighth against Cody Allen, who struck out the next four batters for his 18th save in 19 attempts.
White Sox rookie Jose Abreu hit a run-scoring single in the third, tying it at 1. It ran his total for the season to 97 RBIs, tied with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the major league lead.
Cleveland jumped in front when Bourn tripled on the first pitch of the game and scored on Jose Ramirez’s grounder.
The Indians threatened to take a 3-0 lead in the second, but Alejandro De Aza made a leaping catch above the left-field fence to rob Zach Walters of a two-run homer.