Prior to Wednesday, the last time the Cubs had won on a walk-off home run was last September 14 against Pittsburgh when Corey Patterson took RHP Brian Meadows deep.
Patterson followed suit again Wednesday in the Cubs' series wrap-up with the Reds. He finished with three hits, including a walk-off home run off Matt Belisle (1-3) to give the Cubs an 8-7 come-from-behind victory—the team's second of the year in their last at-bat. An RBI double in the third inning after Ryan Dempster had given up a grand slam to 2B Felipe Lopez, and a bunt single to open the sixth, gave Patterson his sixth multi-hit game this season.
Just as he's done throughout most of April, Derrek Lee grabbed the bulk of headlines, homering twice and driving in six runs to help erase a 6-1 deficit after Lopez's grand slam. Lee extended his hitting streak to 10 games and finished 9-for-19 with three homers and 10 RBI in the Cubs' rain-shortened five-game home stand. Neifi Perez also continued his hot hitting, adding two hits and scoring two runs. Perez is 11-for-his-last-20.
Dempster's start was highlighted by the Lopez grand slam, but the right-hander still managed to make it into the sixth inning, allowing six runs on eight hits total in 5.1 innings. He struck out seven and walked five.
One night after giving up five runs on eight hits, the Cubs' bullpen pitched 3.2 strong innings in Wednesday's victory. RHP Roberto Novoa, the fifth person to be called up from Triple-A already this year, allowed a run and two hits in his only inning of work just hours after getting the promotion. (To make room on the 25-man roster, the Cubs demoted struggling right-hander Jon Leicester to Iowa.) LaTroy Hawkins (1-1) retired all three batters he faced in the Cincinnati ninth for the win.
The Cubs (11-10) continue their stretch of 18 straight games against NL Central foes with a three-game series at Houston (8-12) starting Friday night. Greg Maddux (0-1, 4.50) is scheduled to face Roger Clemens (1-0, 0.32) in game one of the series.
Nomar Garciaparra underwent successful surgery on his torn left groin Wednesday. Garciaparra sustained the injury a week ago in the Cubs' 3-1 win at St. Louis. He hopes to return at some point this season.