CINCINNATI (AP) — When Kris Bryant reached the dugout after his record-setting third homer, thousands of Cubs fans in the stands cheered for a curtain call. A few teammates wanted him to take a bow, too.
Nope. That was the only thing Chicago’s top hitter wouldn’t do on his historic night.
Bryant became the first major leaguer to hit three homers and two doubles in a game, and Jake Arrieta added a solo shot in the ballpark where he threw a no-hitter in April, setting up an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
The Cubs pulled out of their 1-6 slide behind a tandem that’s had some huge moments in Cincinnati.
“The last couple of weeks haven’t been what I’ve wanted, so I figured I’m due,” said Bryant, who hit three homers one time during a college game with San Diego.
Arrieta (12-2) threw his second career no-hitter on April 21 during a 16-0 win over the Reds. Bryant led the way with a pair of homers in that game, including a grand slam that gave him a career-high six RBIs.
Arrieta struggled in his return to Cincinnati, giving up a season-high five runs in five innings, but Bryant drove in six runs again to help the right-hander pull through. Bryant’s 16 total bases were a Cubs record, and his five hits marked a career high.
“That keeps you back from those 0-for-20 stretches when you have a game like this,” Bryant said.
Bryant doubled home a run in the first, hit a solo homer in the third and added a three-run shot deep into the upper deck in left field in the fourth off Dan Straily (4-5). His solo shot in the eighth came off Ross Ohlendorf, who also gave up a homer to Anthony Rizzo.
Most of the 31,762 fans wore Cubs blue and demanded a curtain call after the third homer. Bryant wouldn’t oblige, considering it inappropriate on the road.
“He enjoys the moment, but he doesn’t go over the top with it,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s very old school. He doesn’t spike the ball in the end zone. He just lays it down or hands it to the official.”
Arrieta hit an opposite-field drive — his fourth career home run — in the fifth inning off Michael Lorenzen for an 8-3 lead.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner became the league’s first 12-game winner despite his worst pitching performance of the season. Arrieta walked a season-high five batters in five innings, and four of them scored. The five runs allowed were his most since he gave up six during a 7-2 loss at Great American Ball Park on Aug. 28, 2014.
“I was my own worst enemy tonight,” Arrieta said. “I’m not happy about it.”
Adam Duvall had a two-run double in the first inning, Jay Bruce singled home a run and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer off Arrieta, who threw 93 pitches in five innings.
“He still had his stuff,” Bruce said. “He just wasn’t locating it very well. We had some walks and put some hits together. That’s baseball.”
The Cubs have the best record in the majors at 49-26 despite their slump last week, characterized by a lack of clutch hitting and poor relief pitching. The bullpen gave up three runs and four hits Monday, including Votto’s second homer in the ninth inning.
The Cubs improved to 7-1 against the Reds this season and have won 10 of their last 11 vs. their NL Central rivals.