Iglesias K's 10-plus for third straight game

Righty becomes first rookie in Reds history to accomplish feat

Iglesias K's 10-plus for third straight game

CHICAGO -- Johnny Cueto never achieved what Raisel Iglesias did Wednesday as a Reds rookie, and neither did the likes of Tom Browning, Mario Soto, Gary Nolan, Johnny Vander Meer or any other first-year player in the team's history.

Iglesias struck out 10 batters during his seven-inning no-decision in the Reds' 7-4 victory over the Cubs. That made him the first Cincinnati rookie to ever record double-digit strikeouts in three straight starts. The last time a Major League rookie did it was in 1995, when the Dodgers' Hideo Nomo did it in four straight.

"I didn't expect him to miss the bat as much as he does," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "There's a lot of swings and misses. He's extremely tough on the right-handed hitters. Today, when he had to make the big pitches against the lefties, he was able to do that as well."

Iglesias gave up only three hits -- two solo homers and a double -- over his seven innings, allowing two runs and three walks. Seven of his first 12 batters faced struck out as he frequently changed speeds and arm angles.

Getting stronger down the stretch, Iglesias is 2-3, but he has a 2.31 ERA with 13 walks and 55 strikeouts over 46 2/3 innings in seven starts since Aug. 1. He is winless over his past four starts. He credited his team and catcher Brayan Pena for much of his success.

"He's been guiding me. I like how he's been doing all of these for me," Iglesias said via translator Tomas Vera. "I'm being me. Being a rookie, first year, I feel great. The fact I can do all those things, I feel proud about it."

For good measure, Iglesias also hit a RBI triple over the outfielders' heads into right-center field during the fifth inning. It gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead.

"Bryan told me if the batter in front of me got on I was going to bunt. He didn't," Iglesias said. "He threw a good pitch. When I hit it, I felt really happy."

On a muggy 90-degree day at Wrigley Field, the sweat could be seen soaking through Iglesias' No. 26 jersey on the mound. Although he walked the leadoff batter in the sixth, he got Kris Bryant to ground into a double play and struck out Anthony Rizzo with an 84-mph slider. That left him at 93 pitches before Price gave him another inning.

Following a one-out double by Austin Jackson and a passed ball in the seventh, Iglesias struck out Addison Russell before the Cubs summoned pinch-hitter Starlin Castro. Sam LeCure was warm in the bullpen and pitching coach Jeff Pico came to the mound.

"We kept close tabs on him," Price said. "There's a difference between a guy who wants to go out there because his heart tells him he wants to go out. There's a guy that has strength and will. ... I thought he earned that right. Jeff Pico went out there to kick the tires with two outs. ... If Raisel was done, we would have pulled him right there."

Jamming Castro with a 95-mph fastball on his 113th pitch, Iglesias got a broken bat grounder to second base to end the inning.

"They were really tough innings with the way the weather was," Iglesias said. "Getting to that point, I was in the need of more adrenaline to get that extra power."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.