Kyle Farmer homered twice and the Cincinnati Reds used a season-high eight-run third inning to rout the visiting Chicago Cubs 20-5 and earn a split of their four-game series Thursday afternoon.
Farmer, who received a cortisone shot for his sore back on Sunday, missed the first three games of the series before returning to the lineup to face left-handed starter Justin Steele. Farmer went 4-for-4 and matched a career high with five RBIs.
The Reds shellacked the Cubs for 20 runs on 20 hits, Cincinnati's first 20-run game since pounding eight home runs in a 22-3 blowout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 4, 1999.
The offensive explosion was enough to end the six-game personal losing streak of Cincinnati rookie starter Hunter Greene (2-6). The right-hander battled through five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and three home runs. He walked two and struck out six.
Greene's last win came in his major league debut on April 10 in Atlanta. Nico Hoerner, Willson Contreras and Ian Happ unloaded off Greene on Thursday.
The Reds began their comeback from an early 3-0 hole in the bottom of the second inning when Farmer homered to left-center off Steele with Tyler Stephenson aboard, cutting the Chicago lead to 3-2.
After Greene finally recorded his first scoreless inning in the third, the offense rewarded him with their biggest single inning production of the season, featuring 11 batters, six hits and eight runs.
Cubs starter Steele (1-5) failed to retire any of the five batters he faced in the third, getting knocked from the game when Stephenson drove home two runs with a single that snapped a 3-3 tie.
Steele was charged with seven runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking two.
The Reds added five more in the eighth off Andrelton Simmons, who made his pitching debut as a positional player.
Brandon Drury, Tommy Pham, Albert Almora Jr. and Matt Reynolds contributed three RBIs apiece for Cincinnati. Nick Senzel went 4-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, and Stephenson had three hits, three runs and two RBIs.
The game was halted for 59 minutes after the fifth inning due to heavy rains that soaked the field.
For a second straight game, Cubs manager David Ross was ejected for arguing from the dugout after one of his batters was hit with a fastball. In the seventh inning and the Reds up eight, Contreras, who admired his 441-foot homer earlier in the game, was hit by reliever Joel Kuhnel.
Hunter Greene 86-57, Jeff Hoffman 16-12, Joel Kuhnel 24-15, Jared Solomon 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls -
Hunter Greene 2-3, Jeff Hoffman 2-1, Joel Kuhnel 2-1, Jared Solomon 0-2
Batters Faced -
Hunter Greene 24, Jeff Hoffman 4, Joel Kuhnel 7, Jared Solomon 3
Thursday, May 26, 2022 12:35 PM ET Location: Great American Ball Park Umpires:
Home - Will Little, First - Chris Conroy, Second - Carlos Torres, Third - Dan Merzel Temperature: 72 °
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