CINCINNATI -- Anthony Rizzo saw the ball ricochet across the outfield and kicked his legs into high gear, deciding he was going to try to touch `em all. His sides were aching by the time he slid safely into home plate.Rizzo legged out his first inside-the-park homer on Wednesday -- a fitting final touch to a series full of unusual moments -- and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 for a three-game sweep that put them back on solid footing after a rough stretch.They were on top of it, man, after a long one last night, Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks said.The Cubs went 1-6 last week, hurt by an injury-depleted lineup and a balky bullpen. With thousands of Cubs fans in the stands at Great American Ball Park for each game, they pulled off an invigorating sweep.The NL Central leaders won the opener 11-8 as Kris Bryant became the first major leaguer with three homers and two doubles in a game. They won 7-2 in 15 innings Tuesday night in a game that featured Javier Baezs grand slam and three relievers playing left field alternately.Manager Joe Maddon went with a lot of his young backups after the long night. They piled up a dozen hits and made impressive plays all over the field.A bunch of babies played in that game today, Maddon said. They were inexperienced, they were young, and they came out and played hard and played well.There was more wackiness, too.Rizzo drove in three runs in the first inning off left-hander Cody Reed (0-2) with the Cubs first inside-the-park homer since 2011, when Tony Campana circled the bases against Cincinnati. Left fielder Adam Duvall cut in front of center fielder Billy Hamilton but couldnt get to the ball, which deflected off Hamiltons cheek.Rizzo couldnt remember the last time he circled the bases that way.Maybe Little League? he said. Nothing like that. Ill take it.Hamilton left the game to get tested for a concussion. He missed a week earlier this month after suffering a concussion when he slid into third base and got hit in the head.We both called for it at the same time, Duvall said. I thought we were going to collide. I didnt take my eye off the ball, but I mightve flinched a little bit. It hit him pretty good. It ended up rolling pretty far.Hendricks (6-6) gave up Duvalls 22nd homer and went 6 2/3 innings, throwing 117 pitches to rest a bullpen worn out from pitching and playing the outfield. He also drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.Hendricks didnt get to play the outfield, though -- not this time, anyway.The way things are going, you never know, he said.Addison Russell and Albert Almora Jr. had solo shots for the Cubs, who hit 10 homers during the series. Baez had three more hits on Wednesday. Rizzos homer gave him a 10-game hitting streak during which hes gone 17 for 36.The Cubs have the major leagues best record at 51-26. Theyre 9-1 against the Reds this season and have won 12 of their last 13 against their NL Central rival.The Cubs 27 runs in the series matched their second-highest total of the season for a three-game stretch.They also turned in more good defensive plays. Right fielder Ben Zobrist threw out Joey Votto at the plate as he tried to score from second on Jay Bruces single in the third.SLAMMEDResearch into Baezs 15th-inning slam found that it was the latest by inning in Cubs history. Also, it was only the third in baseball history to happen in the 15th inning or later. New Yorks Tino Martinez hit one in the 15th in 1996, and Bostons Clyde Vollmer hit one in the 16th inning in 1951, according to STATS information provided by the team. The Cubs hadnt scored five runs so late in a game since 1927.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: Maddon gave LHP Travis Wood the day off after he played left field and pitched in relief Tuesday night.Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips was in the lineup despite getting hit in the ribs and taking a foul off his left ankle Tuesday night. He had a single in four at-bats.UP NEXTCubs: RHP John Lackey (7-4, 3.29 ERA) opens a four-game series at New York against the Mets. Hes coming off his worst outing of the season, when he allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings of a loss at Miami last Saturday.Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (3-6, 3.83) opens a four-game series at Washington. He has lost his last two starts, giving up seven earned runs in 11 2/3 innings. The Reds dont play at home again until July 15.---Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay Shoes Wholesale China Free Shipping . -- Jimmy Walkers first PGA Tour trophy came with a special gift tucked inside. Shoes Clearance Sale Online . -- Al Jefferson found a groove just in time for the Charlotte Bobcats. http://www.shoeswholesale.us/ .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Shoes Wholesale Online Store . He was followed closely by David Clarkson, donning red, seconds later. Clarksons actions one night earlier, leaping off the bench in defence of Kessel during a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres, will cost him the first 10 games of the regular season. Cheap Shoes Online China . Dukurs winning time was 1 minute, 45.76 seconds, a quarter-second better than Russias Alexander Tretiakov. Lativas Tomass Dukurs was third, 1.41 seconds off the pace. Jon Montgomery of Eckville, Alta. PITTSBURGH -- The comeback James Conner never doubted, not once, officially ended with an unremarkable 1-yard loss.And while the Pittsburgh running back picked himself up and quietly headed back to the huddle early in the first quarter against Villanova on Saturday, thousands inside Heinz Field rose to their feet for a standing ovation that had nothing to do with football and everything to do with perseverance.There will be plenty of time for Conner to nitpick his performance in Pitts 28-7 season-opening win. Just not Saturday. Conners well aware of the significance of his familiar No. 24 jersey sprinting onto the field for the first time in 364 days, a layoff that began with a knee injury last September against Youngstown State then became something far more harrowing when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma around Thanksgiving.The road back included months of chemotherapy treatment, sessions that left him drained but undaunted. He soldiered through spring practice wearing a mask during drills to protect his depleted immune system, all the while hoping his example would resonate with those facing similar battles. Its a role he never envisioned having to fill, but one hes willingly embraced.Its why the stands were filled with family members, the medical staff that helped restore him to health and hundreds of friends from back home in Erie, Pennsylvania. Conners two-touchdown performance was as much a testament to their support as it was his resolve. At the same time hes only too happy to put this chapter -- the first chapter anyway -- behind him and get back to football and not the disease that temporarily brought the 2014 ACC Player of the Years blossoming career to a halt.Its not my first game, Conner said. I know its a comeback game but its felt like a regular season football camp really. My battle was already won, beating cancer. Everything else was a reward.There was rust to be sure. There were also signs that hes going to be just fine. The proof came in the second quarter when Conner took a handoff and raced around the left end, stiff-arming a Villanova defender before crossing the goal line to give the Panthers the lead while the teammates who elected him as one of Pitts three captains raced to congratulate hhim.ddddddddddddThat first touchdown couldnt be any better, stiff-arm into the end zone right into the student section, quarterback Nate Peterman said. It was an emotional moment.Conner was at it again just before the half, hauling in a 9-yard score by making a difficult grab in traffic over the middle. He finished with 53 yards on 17 carries and added three receptions for 16 yards as Pitt avoided an embarrassing slip-up a week before a highly anticipated showdown with Penn State.Im sure as we watch the tape were going to have a lot of corrections for him, coach Pat Narduzzi said. Mainly that hes looking for a touchdown every play instead of hitting it up there for three or four yards and be happy with it. Its been a long time since he stepped on the field in a game situation. He made plays when he needed to.Quadree Henderson returned the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a score to break things open. Peterman completed 19 of 32 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, including a pretty 16-yard lob to Jester Weah with six minutes to go. Still, the Panthers managed just 211 total yards.The Wildcats controlled play for portions of the first half, but three straight drives into Pitt territory failed to produce any points, giving the Panthers time to get going. Rob Rolle returned a Peterman fumble 3 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter for Villanovas only score.THE TAKEAWAYVillanova: Coach Andy Tally said entering his 32nd and final season the Wildcats will have to rely heavily on their defense. Theres reason for optimism as Villanova stayed within striking distance, keeping Pitts running game in check for the most part and preventing big plays.Pitt: The Panthers will need the passing game to develop quickly if they want to make noise in the crowded ACC Coastal Division. Villanova stacked the line of scrimmage and dared Peterman to throw it, which he did with only middling success.UP NEXTVillanova: Host Lehigh in their home opener.Pitt: Resumes its rivalry with Penn State after a 15-year hiatus when the Nittany Lions visit Heinz Field.---AP College Football site: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '