Reds 4, Cubs 2: Jay Bruce went deep for the third straight game and Johnny Cueto won for the fourth time in his last five decisions as host Cincinnati edged Chicago in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
Cueto (9-6) gave up two homers in the same game for just the second time all season, but permitted only four other hits – all singles – over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in his last six starts against the Cubs. Ramon Santiago had three hits and an RBI while Chris Heisey went 3-for-3 and scored as the Reds have won three a row and 12 of 17.
Chris Coghlan and Ryan Sweeney hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning for Chicago, which has lost 21 of its last 29 meetings with Cincinnati. Travis Wood (7-7) dropped to 1-5 in eight career starts against the team he broke into the majors with in 2010, yielding four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks over 5 1/3 frames.
Billy Hamilton led off the Cincinnati first with a bunt single and stole second moments later before Brandon Phillips grounded past diving first baseman Anthony Rizzo to drive in the first run. Bruce jumped on the next pitch, launching a low fastball from Wood deep into the seats in right.
Cueto was perfect in four of his five innings – the exception being when he worked his way out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the third – until the sixth, when Coghlan and Sweeney opened the frame with solo shots over a four-pitch span. Santiago plated Heisey with an RBI single in the sixth and Cueto escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam in the seventh before Aroldis Chapman worked around a single and a walk in the ninth for his 18th save.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Cueto had surrendered two home runs over his previous 10 outings. … The Cubs fell to 13-26 in games decided by two runs or fewer. … Cincinnati placed 1B Joey Votto on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left quad.