CINCINNATI – Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a homer, and Ryan Hanigan and Brandon Phillips also homered on Friday night, powering the Cincinnati Reds to their fourth straight win, 7-4 over the Cubs.
The Reds have won 12 of their past 15 games, surging to a season-high 12 games over .500.
At 30-18, they’re three wins ahead of their pace last season, when they won 97 games and the NL Central.
They’ve dominated the Cubs, winning 15 of their past 17. The Reds are 18-5 overall against the Cubs in the past two seasons.
The Cubs are last in the NL Central, having lost a season-high five straight. The Cubs (18-29) slid a season-low 11 games under .500.
Votto and Hanigan homered in the fourth inning off Scott Feldman (4-4), who had only one bad inning. Feldman gave up five runs in the fourth, the same number he’d allowed in his past five starts combined.
Phillips hit a two-run shot in the eighth off Hector Rondon.
Bronson Arroyo (5-4) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings, including Feldman’s first career homer. Jonathan Broxton allowed Luis Valbuena’s RBI single in the eighth.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. After blowing a pair of save opportunities, the left-hander has converted his past three. He gave up a single and a walk and fanned three.
The Reds had their third sellout crowd of the season, and the last two games of the series will draw capacity crowds as well.
Arroyo had trouble keeping his pitches down at the outset. Darwin Barney had a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Feldman followed with his first career homer, a two-run shot for a 3-0 lead. Cubs pitchers have driven in 15 runs this season, most in the majors.
The three-run inning ended Arroyo’s streak of 15 1-3 scoreless innings, his best of the season. The right-hander has won his past three starts.
Feldman had his streak of five impressive starts fall apart in the fourth.
Votto led off with his eighth homer, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a Reds player this season. He leads the NL with a .361 batting average.
And that was just the start. Phillips followed with a single, stretching his hitting streak to a season-best 11 games, and eventually scored on Xavier Paul’s single. Hanigan’s three-run homer – his second – made it 5-3.
The five runs matched the most allowed by the Cubs in an inning this season. They were the most earned runs allowed by Feldman in a game this season.
Notes: The Reds have homered in each of their past nine games, their longest such streak since 2010. ... The Reds placed LH Sean Marshall on the 15-day DL before the game, the second time he’s been sidelined by a sore pitching shoulder this season. LH Manny Parra was activated off the DL to take his place. ... LF Ryan Ludwick said his comeback from shoulder surgery is on schedule. He tore cartilage while sliding into third base on opening day. He’s expected back after the All-Star break. ... Umpire Bob Davidson called a balk on Arroyo. ... LH Travis Wood, obtained by the Cubs in the trade for Marshall in December 2011, makes his fourth career start against the Reds on Saturday. He’s 0-1 with a 4.42 ERA against the Reds.