9/7 Pena power, Demp, Castro & Ramy

Carlos Pena’s three-run homer in the eighth Wednesday was his ninth first-pitch home run of the season, good for second most in the Major Leagues behind teammate Aramis Ramirez, who has 12. It was Pena’s seventh home run off a lefty this year, and 26th of the season, and gave the Cubs a 6-3 win over the Reds. The ball soared over the right field bleachers onto Sheffield Avenue.

“I would’ve liked to have seen that with no wind let alone the wind blowing out,” Ryan Dempster said. “That’s a big win for us.”

The Reds brought in lefty Bill Bray to face Pena.

“We had the match-up we wanted,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Billy has been great on lefties all year, hitting [.188] off him. Pena is hitting [.135] off of lefties. He made a mistake and hung a slider that didn’t slide. It just spun up there. He didn’t miss it.” 

Pena now has five homers and 16 RBIs against Cincinnati.

“It doesn’t make sense,” Baker said. “Evidentially, he must like hitting off of us.”

 * Dempster now is 6-6 with a 3.59 ERA in his last 17 starts, but has not won since Aug. 11.

* Starlin Castro has reached base safely in his last 21 games since Aug. 15, a career high. He has hit safely in 32 of his last 35 games, batting .323 in that span. He has 49 hits in his last 34 games, and leads the NL with 182 hits. He’s on pace for 206 this season. Castro is riding a 12-game home hitting streak.

* Aramis Ramirez hit his 254th double as a Cub, tying him with Wildfire Schulte for 14th on the team’s all-time doubles list.

— Carrie Muskat


1 Comment

Good to see the Mighty Pena come through with not only a hit with runners in scoring positon but a game winning homer….in the “Too Little Too Late Baseball League”. If Hendry were still GM Pena’s game winner in a meaningless game would have meant a 3 year extension at 15 mil a year, Feilder, LaHair and anybody else that could play first base be damned. But Hendry is GONE so we have hope that the new GM will not be taken in by Pena’s prodigious blasts and instead look at how little you get for the tens of millions of dollars he will be asking for and instead either get Fielder or save some money at 1B by going with LaHair and put the money saved in the starting rotation. Anybody think Pena is feeling LaHair breath down his neck? Imagine what Castillo or Clavenger would do to Soto if they were here instead of the “human out” Hill. Soto could use a shot of competition as much as anybody.

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