The home runs made the most noise for the Cubs on Sunday in Cincinnati, but the injury to starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood promises to make the most impact.
Six homers — two each by Ian Happ, Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber — provided all the scoring in a 10-1 rout.
But when Chatwood was forced to leave the game in the third inning because of elbow “discomfort,” it put the rest of his already short season in jeopardy, likely puts José Quintana back into the rotation and puts the front office into a more urgent posture in their efforts to add left-handed bullpen help before Monday's 3 p.m. deadline.
The veteran left-hander took over Sunday in the fourth inning, striking out six of the 12 he faced in three strong innings. He allowed two hits, including a solo homer to Joey Votto in his third inning of work.
Quintana, who badly cut his pitching thumb on a broken glass while washing dishes June 28, made his season debut Tuesday, pitching three impressive innings before tiring in his fourth inning of work.
He’s expected to start one of the doubleheader games against the Cardinals on Saturday.
The six homers Sunday, including Schwarber's grand slam in the ninth, gave the Cubs 14 in the four-game series split against the Reds.
When Schwarber, the left fielder, joined center-fielder Happ and right-fielder Heyward with a second homer, it marked the first time in major league history that a team got multiple-homer performances from all three outfielders in the same game.
The Cubs have 51 in 34 games, the fourth-highest total in the National League.
“I still think our best is yet to come offensively for sure.” — David Ross pregame as the Cubs finalized a trade with the Rays for DH/OF José Martínez.
El Mago goes ‘poof’ vs. Reds
Javy Báez, who showed signs of breaking from a season-long slump in Detroit earlier on this road trip, went hitless for the weekend in Cincinnati — raising the heat on the question of whether Báez should be moved out of the No. 3 spot in the order.
A popup, grounder to the pitcher and two more strikeouts left Báez with a 0-for-11 series against the Reds, even with a ninth-inning walk, including eight strikeouts.
The All-Star shortstop and 2018 MVP runner-up takes a 14-at-bat hitless streak (nine strikeouts) and .202 season average into this week’s series at Pittsburgh.
The Cubs take Monday off before opening a stretch of 15 games in 14 days starting with three in Pittsburgh the next three days.