CHICAGO (AP) — Rick Renteria prefers positive reinforcement, usually taking the approach of building up his players.
But following another loss and ho-hum effort on Friday, the new Chicago Cubs manager had seen enough and let the players know their intensity and focus was unacceptable.
"I think when Ricky talks and shows emotion, it means something," Darwin Barney said. "He doesn't do it every often. We know he's got our back and he's on our side. When he shows a little fire, it usually works."
It certain did Saturday.
Barney and Welington Castillo hit two-run homers and Mike Olt added a solo shot as the Cubs broke out of a weeklong offensive funk and beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-4.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Cubs.
Since scoring four times last Sunday in St. Louis, the Cubs had managed just one run before beating the Reds. Cincinnati had won 16 of the last 17 at Wrigley Field.
"I think the intensity was better," Renteria said. "Obviously, the results were better. But had the results not been there, I think the way they went about it was significantly better than yesterday."
Emilio Bonifacio had three hits and scored a pair of runs for the Cubs. Junior Lake, Starlin Castro and Justin Ruggiano each drove in a run.
Edwin Jackson (1-1) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"He battled and got into a little trouble there," Renteria said. "But all in all, he kept working. ... He showed some intensity and he showed some fight."
Tony Cingrani (1-2) gave up three runs in five innings.
Jay Bruce went 3 for 3 with a walk for the Reds.
"I've been battling myself the last couple of starts and I'm just trying to find that command and my consistent mechanics," Cingrani said. "It just hasn't been working that well the last couple of starts."
Bonifacio led off the bottom of the first with a single, went to second on a walk to Lake and came home on a single by Ruggiano.