Spencer Steer crushed a game-winning double to deep center to score Stuart Fairchild with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Cincinnati Reds beat the visiting Chicago Cubs 3-2 Tuesday night.
Steer was mobbed by his teammates and had his jersey and undershirt ripped off during the celebration that kept the Reds from losing 100 games for a second straight night.
Alexis Diaz (7-3) recorded the final four outs and pitched out of a ninth-inning jam. Diaz struck out Patrick Wisdom with a runner at second and got Alfonso Rivas to pop out to shortstop with the go-ahead run at third.
Brandon Hughes (2-3) walked Fairchild to open the bottom of the ninth before Steer connected for the game-winner.
Cincinnati starter Luis Cessa retired the first seven batters he faced before walking Rivas with one out in the third. But Cessa struck out Christopher Morel and retired Esteban Quiroz on a soft lineout to second to end the inning.
The only hit Cessa allowed through five innings was a leadoff homer on a first-pitch slider to Willson Contreras to open the fourth. Contreras’ 22nd homer landed on the grass berm above the center field wall.
Cessa appeared to limp slightly down the dugout steps when he finished the fifth inning but came out to start the sixth inning. Morel hit a routine grounder to third base, but Steer threw the ball high to first, allowing Morel to reach on an error.
Following a failed challenge by Chicago that the throw went out of play, Cessa was pulled from the game and Ian Gibaut came on in relief.
For the Cubs, starter Javier Assad followed five scoreless innings in his last start against Philadelphia with 5 1/3 scoreless frames against Cincinnati. Assad struck out four and walked one while allowing four hits.
Nico Hoerner opened the seventh with his 10th homer to the seats in left off Fernando Cruz to put Chicago ahead 2-0.
The Reds managed to tie the game in the seventh when Jose Barrero worked a two-out, full-count walk. Chuckie Robinson followed with his second homer, a two-run shot to right off reliever Keegan Thompson.
Jonathan India, plagued by various injuries throughout the season, had to leave the penultimate game of the season after fouling a ball off his left foot in the third inning. After he played the fourth, Matt Reynolds took his place at second base to start the fifth.