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Reds reward Arroyo with big hits to rip Cubs

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- It's been a rough first few weeks of the season for Reds right fielder Scott Schebler. But pitcher Bronson Arroyo was fortunate to have Schebler's contributions supporting his strong start in a 7-5 victory over the Cubs as Cincinnati salvaged one game from its three-game series at Great American Ball Park on Sunday.

After Billy Hamilton gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first inning by singling, stealing second and third base and scoring on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly, Schebler hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning to make it 2-0 against John Lackey. Schebler then added a jam-shot of a bloop single to center field in the fourth to snap a 2-2 tie.

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CINCINNATI -- It's been a rough first few weeks of the season for Reds right fielder Scott Schebler. But pitcher Bronson Arroyo was fortunate to have Schebler's contributions supporting his strong start in a 7-5 victory over the Cubs as Cincinnati salvaged one game from its three-game series at Great American Ball Park on Sunday.

After Billy Hamilton gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first inning by singling, stealing second and third base and scoring on Joey Votto's sacrifice fly, Schebler hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning to make it 2-0 against John Lackey. Schebler then added a jam-shot of a bloop single to center field in the fourth to snap a 2-2 tie.

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Video: CHC@CIN: Hamilton singles, steals and scores

The Reds put away Lackey with a four-run sixth inning. That featured a double by Patrick Kivlehan with the bases loaded that scored all three runners. Lackey, who was hurt by two Cubs errors in the inning, allowed seven runs (five earned) and six hits over six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"Things really haven't been going my way as far as the plate," Schebler said. "But I feel like I've been playing solid defense and I'm still trying to give the team a chance to win. All we care about here is winning. When we're winning, everybody is happy."

Video: CHC@CIN: Arroyo fans seven over six solid innings

A winner for his second straight start, the 40-year-old Arroyo was mostly smooth for six innings, giving up two earned runs and three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. The right-hander retired his first 10 batters before Kris Bryant hit a one-out single and Anthony Rizzo smoked a 1-0 pitch for a two-run homer to right field, his third homer in as many games.

Video: CHC@CIN: Rizzo crushes a two-run homer in the 4th

"You just play baseball really," Rizzo said after extending his hitting streak to 12 games. "You just hit balls where they're not standing. You go through the process. It's no different than not getting any hits."

Video: CHC@CIN: Russell plates Zobrist with an RBI single

Raisel Iglesias was summoned for the last five outs but hit some turbulence, allowing three hits and two runs in the top of the ninth. After Addison Russell's RBI single scored Ben Zobrist, who led off with a double, Iglesias made a pickoff throw with no one covering first base. That set up Jason Heyward's RBI single before Iglesias got a double play and flyout to end the game.

Video: CHC@CIN: Iglesias retires Contreras to end the game

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Schebler comes through: Schebler has come under some fire from fans as he entered Sunday 1-for-his-last-15 and 4-for-31 in his previous nine games and batting .153 overall. On Lackey's 1-0 pitch, the Reds' right fielder lifted a 402-foot homer, according to Statcast™, that left the bat at 103 mph with a 33-degree launch angle. After Chicago tied it up, Schebler's RBI single gave his team the lead for good in the fourth.

Video: CHC@CIN: Schebler bloops an RBI single into center

"Things will get rolling, and I expect it to," Schebler said. "One swing can spark a good streak. It's just how baseball works. I hope to build off of this."

Big bunt leads to big moment: The Reds had runners on first and second base with no outs when Scooter Gennett saw the infield playing back and laid down a perfect bunt on the grass to the left side of the infield and beat it out for a single to load the bases. It set the stage for the next batter, Kivlehan, to clear those bases with his long double -- the first of his career.

Video: CHC@CIN: Gennett lays down a perfect bunt

"I was put into a good opportunity and a good spot," Kivlehan said "I knew [Lackey] walked me in my last at-bat on four pitches. I knew he didn't want to do it again, so I just wanted to be aggressive and look for a pitch in the strike zone."

Video: CHC@CIN: Kivlehan clears the bases with a double

QUOTABLE
"He was really feeling it. Probably for the first time this year, it looked more like Bronson that we remember from the first time through. ... Just really a complete effort by a guy who really knows how to pitch. I think he is starting to really feel those things he needs to feel to make good pitches on a consistent basis." -- Reds manager Bryan Price

Video: CHC@CIN: Price on Arroyo's win over the Cubs

"I have nothing to complain about. You go into another city and win the series. We'll take it." -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Arroyo and Lackey have pitched a combined 5,079 1/3 innings in 793 starts during their careers. Lackey and Arroyo rank Nos. 3 and 4 for most starts among active pitchers behind Bartolo Colon and CC Sabathia.

WHAT'S NEXT
Cubs: Chicago begins a three-game series vs. Pittsburgh on Monday night at 6:05 CT at PNC Park. Left-hander Brett Anderson (1-0, 4.40) will start for the Cubs. Anderson allowed one run over 10 2/3 innings in his first two starts, then was charged with six runs in Tuesday's no-decision vs. Milwaukee.

Reds: A seven-day, six-game road trip begins at 7:40 p.m. ET on Monday with a three-game-series opener vs. the Brewers. Amir Garrett, who is 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA over his first three big league starts, will be on the mound for Cincinnati.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cubs on Sunday.

Bronson Arroyo, Patrick Kivlehan, John Lackey, Anthony Rizzo, Scott Schebler