CHICAGO (AP) Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza lasted six innings, four of which were shut out innings. But the Cincinnati Reds tagged Garza for three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth, and that proved to be just enough to beat the Cubs.
Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer, Brandon Phillips made some key defensive plays at second base and the Reds held on to beat the Cubs 5-4 for their third straight win.
Edinson Volquez (3-1) got the win, laboring through numerous jams in five-plus innings. He allowed six hits and four runs, walked four and threw a pair of wild pitches.
Garza (1-4), the Cubs’ biggest offseason acquisition, still has one win in his first seven starts and none in four outings at Wrigley Field. He gave up six hits and five runs in six innings on a day of missed offensive opportunities for the Cubs, who left eight on base.
Chicago scored a run and had the bases loaded with no outs in the sixth before reliever Sam LeCure retired the top three batters in the Cubs’ lineup to foil a big inning.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances, catching Darwin Barney’s liner through the box and doubling off Kosuke Fukudome, who’d led off with a walk.
Bruce’s seventh homer of the season was a high drive into the right-field bleachers with the wind blowing out and gave the Reds the lead for good in the fourth at 3-1. It was the first homer surrendered by Garza this season and scored Edgar Renteria and Joey Votto.
The Reds added on in the top of the fifth on two-out RBI singles by Votto and Phillips. Paul Janish started the inning with a hustling double after his hard grounder went off shortstop Starlin Castro’s glove. With two outs and Janish at third, Garza walked Renteria before Votto and Phillips delivered to make it 5-2.
Barney, Castro and Aramis Ramirez reached Volquez for consecutive one-out singles to make it 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth, but the inning fizzled when Phillips made a nice grab of Alfonso Soriano’s sinking liner and flipped to Renteria to double off Castro.
Geovany Soto greeted LeCure with an RBI single in the sixth, cutting it to 5-4. LeCure then hit pinch-hitter Reed Johnson to load the bases before striking out Fukudome, retiring Barney on a popup and getting Castro on a bouncer to short.
The Cubs also loaded the bases in fourth but scored once on Soto’s double-play grounder.
Garza was 0 for 25 in his career, including 0 for 14 this season, before collecting his first major league hit in the second, a sharp single to center that set up the Cubs’ first run.
Fukudome then grounded to first baseman Votto, whose throw to second was dropped by Renteria for an error. Phillips then made a great play behind second, flagging down Barney’s hopper and flipping the ball behind his back to Renteria – while still on the ground – for the force out.
The Reds eventually got a run on Ramon Hernandez’s passed ball.
Notes: Bruce has five homers in his last 10 games. … Votto has reached base in all 32 of the Reds’ games this season. … Castro is 2 for 21 over his last five games. He flied out to end the game. … Janish hurt his leg rounding third after moving up a base on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth. He stayed in the game and scored. … LeCure made his second straight relief appearance after starting four games. … Reds utility infielder Miguel Cairo has a sore right knee and might not be able to play this weekend
Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.