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Contreras' slam leads Cubs' HR show in Cincy

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- On a chilly and blustery Saturday afternoon, the Cubs' bats provided plenty of heat with three home runs and a 12-8 victory over the Reds that gave Chicago its first four-game winning streak of the season. Meanwhile, Cincinnati has dropped four games in a row, and seven of nine, to drop to a .500 record at 9-9.

The first-place Cubs (10-7) took a 3-0 lead on lefty starter Cody Reed after three batters with Anthony Rizzo's three-run homer. The Reds answered in the bottom of the first with Joey Votto's three-run homer and a solo shot by Eugenio Suarez -- both against Jake Arrieta. Suarez added a second solo homer, off Cubs reliever Justin Grimm, in the eighth, while Votto added a fifth RBI with a ninth-inning double to finish a triple shy of the cycle.

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CINCINNATI -- On a chilly and blustery Saturday afternoon, the Cubs' bats provided plenty of heat with three home runs and a 12-8 victory over the Reds that gave Chicago its first four-game winning streak of the season. Meanwhile, Cincinnati has dropped four games in a row, and seven of nine, to drop to a .500 record at 9-9.

The first-place Cubs (10-7) took a 3-0 lead on lefty starter Cody Reed after three batters with Anthony Rizzo's three-run homer. The Reds answered in the bottom of the first with Joey Votto's three-run homer and a solo shot by Eugenio Suarez -- both against Jake Arrieta. Suarez added a second solo homer, off Cubs reliever Justin Grimm, in the eighth, while Votto added a fifth RBI with a ninth-inning double to finish a triple shy of the cycle.

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"The ball was absolutely flying," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "These balls were well-struck, don't get me wrong, but the ball was definitely in the air and it was gone."

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

Video: CHC@CIN: Suarez hits two home runs against the Cubs

Reed labored again in the second inning with a one-out double and back-to-back walks before Willson Contreras socked the first grand slam of his career over the wall in center field. Reed, who was making his first start of the season after shifting from the bullpen, gave up seven earned runs and four hits, with five walks and three strikeouts over two innings.

"We have some guys starting to come around and swing the bat. We've got to find a way to pair up the quality pitching with the quality hitting," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's a cliché, but we've got to put those things together to get back to winning more ballgames."

It wasn't a great day for pitching, especially early. A combined 122 pitches were thrown over the first two innings, with 12 runs, 10 hits, five walks and three homers.

"It's just frustrating, in general," Reed said. "I'm not executing and doing what I need to do. We score eight runs, and we lost. That's tough."

The game was put away in the sixth inning, when Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer to right field off reliever Lisalverto Bonilla

Video: CHC@CIN: Heyward pads Cubs' lead with three-run homer

Arrieta finished with six innings, five runs (four earned), eight hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. Bonilla provided five innings of long relief, with four earned runs, three hits, three walks and six strikeouts. In the fifth inning, Arrieta got Bonilla for an RBI triple to right field, which Scooter Gennett missed with a poor route and diving attempt at the warning track.

Video: CHC@CIN: Arrieta smacks an RBI triple to right

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
That was a lift: After Reed walked his first two batters, Rizzo lifted a 1-1 fastball very high and deep to right field for his second homer in two games. The long ball had a hit probability of just 24 percent (100.2-mph exit velocity with a 38-degree launch angle) according to Statcast™ and goes for a home run two out of 10 times. Rizzo later added a one-out double to right field in the sixth that had an exit velocity of 113.6 mph, the hardest hit he's recorded since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015.

Video: CHC@CIN: Rizzo smashes three-run homer in the 1st

First-time slam: There was less doubt about Contreras' grand slam in the top of the second inning. Statcast™ data showed that he got the barrel on it with an exit velocity of 104.7 mph and launch angle of 23 degrees. It was his second homer of the season.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Cubs have homered in each of their past 14 games at Great American Ball Park, with a total of 34 homers being hit in that span. Chicago's record in those games is 12-2.

Video: CHC@CIN: Rizzo, Contreras and Heyward go deep

A REPLAY REVIEW
In the top of the first inning, Contreras was called out at second base trying to advance on a Reed pitch in the dirt that got away from catcher Tucker Barnhart, who fired a perfect throw to get him. The Cubs challenged the call and, upon review, it was overturned by replay officials who saw Contreras beat the tag. Reed was charged with a wild pitch.

Video: CHC@CIN: Contreras steals base after call overturned

On a 2-1 pitch in the Reds' eighth against Grimm, Zack Cozart hit a drive to left field that appeared to hit the top of the wall and come back into play. It was ruled on the field as a double but was given another look by the replay official in New York, who determined that the call stands because it could not be definitively determined that the ball landed in a area out of play to be ruled a homer.

Video: CHC@CIN: Cozart's double stands after challenge

WHAT'S NEXT
Cubs: The three-game series concludes Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT at Great American Ball Park. Veteran Cubs right-hander John Lackey (1-2, 4.00 ERA) has worked six innings in each of his first three starts, allowing four runs in a loss Monday to Milwaukee.

Reds: For the 1:10 p.m. ET finale, Bronson Arroyo will be seeking wins in back-to-back starts. Arroyo pitched five innings vs. the Orioles on Tuesday for his first big league win since June 15, 2014, with the D-backs -- a span of 1,038 days.

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 Saturday.

Willson Contreras, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto