Bruce helps Reds overcome his error, beat Cubs 9-3
Reds 9, Cubs 3: Mike Leake pitched seven solid innings while Billy Hamilton had two hits and a career-high four RBIs as host Cincinnati claimed the opener of a five-game series with Chicago.
Jay Bruce homered for the second straight game while Todd Frazier had two hits and an RBI for the Reds. Leake (7-7) allowed runners to reach scoring position in all seven innings but limited the damage to three runs (two earned) and struck out seven.
Edwin Jackson (5-9) retired 13 straight at one point but wound up allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings to drop to 2-2 against the Reds this season. Chris Coghlan went 4-for-5 – his eighth career four-hit game – and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer to lead the Cubs, who were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.
The Reds pushed across an early run when Hamilton led off the home half of the first with a walk, moved to third on a Frazier single and scored on Brandon Phillips’ sacrifice fly. The Cubs tied it in the fifth when Coghlan came home after Bruce misplayed a Rizzo grounder, but the Reds answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame on RBI singles from Hamilton and Frazier.
Devin Mesoraco’s RBI double made it 4-1 in the sixth, but the Cubs cut into the lead a half-inning later when Rizzo jumped on a first-pitch cutter for his 18th homer of the season. Bruce restored the three-run cushion with a two-run blast of his own in the bottom of the seventh, and Hamilton cleared the bases with a three-run triple in the eighth.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The game was delayed 21 minutes in the middle of the third inning because of rain. … Bruce made his first major-league appearance at first base, starting there in place of Joey Votto (strained left quadriceps). … Frazier has collected multiple hits in four of his last five games.