CINCINNATI — In the midst of a renaissance season, Joey Votto checked off yet another milestone.
Amid his three-hit game during the Reds’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs on Monday, Votto passed 2,000 career hits and became the fifth member of the franchise to reach that plateau.
Votto hit a third-inning single up the middle against Cubs starter Justin Steele. In the seventh inning with his team ahead, 4-0, fans at Great American Ball Park chanted “Joey, Joey!” as the 37-year-old first baseman ran up a full count against reliever Michael Rucker.
Rucker threw a curveball and Votto lined it to center field for a single and hit No. 2,000 as the crowd roared. After reaching first base, he responded by applauding back to the fans and raising his helmet in appreciation.
Votto has reached three major milestones this season. On April 30 — also vs. the Cubs — he reached 300 home runs. (He now has 321). On June 30 vs. the Padres, Votto notched RBI No. 1,000. He debuted in the big leagues in 2007 — with Cubs manager David Ross as one of his teammates.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Votto is the second Major League player to record his 2,000th hit, 300th home run and 1,000 RBI in the same season. Cubs great Billy Williams also did it in 1971.
The Reds were in control of the game already so Votto could enjoy the moment. With two outs in the fourth inning, Jonathan India hit a 2-2 pitch from Steele for a two-run homer into the left-field upper deck to break up a scoreless tie. In the fifth against Rucker, Aristides Aquino crushed a two-out, two-run homer to left field. According to Statcast, the exit velocity was 113.5 mph and the homer traveled 442 feet.
Following Votto’s second hit, the game spun into a rout during an eight-run seventh inning. India delivered the biggest blow with a bases-loaded double that gave the rookie a career-high five RBIs. Votto added career hit No. 2,001 with an RBI single lofted into left field. He was lifted for pinch-runner Tyler Stephenson but waved to the crowd one more time before entering the dugout.
Votto has 242 career hits vs. the Cubs, which leads all active players and is just ahead of the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina’s 233.
For the seventh time this season, Wade Miley was the beneficiary of his lineup’s double-digit run output. Miley worked seven scoreless innings with four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.