CINCINNATI (AP) — Wilson Contreras hit his first career grand slam and Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward added three-run shots on Saturday, powering the Chicago Cubs to a 12-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Jake Arrieta (3-0) returned to the mound where he threw his second career no-hitter last April 21 and struggled mightily at the outset, giving up two homers in the first inning. Chicago’s offense pulled him through with another homer-heavy game at Great American Ball Park. Arrieta helped with an RBI triple.
The Cubs have won 20 of their last 24 games against the Reds, including 17 of 21 at Great American Ball Park. The Cubs have homered in each of their last 14 games in Cincinnati.
In the series opener, Rizzo’s three-run homer tied it with two outs in the ninth and set up a 6-5 win in 11 innings. He connected in the first inning on Saturday against left-hander Cody Reed (1-1), who was moved into the Reds’ injury-depleted rotation. Contreras hit his grand slam in the second, which was Reed’s final inning.
Heyward’s second homer in two days made it 11-5 in the sixth. The Cubs hit 42 homers against Cincinnati last season, the most by any Reds’ opponent in their history. Chicago has six homers in the first two games of the series.
Arrieta was pitching on six days’ rest and struggled with his control. He needed 53 pitches to get through the first two innings. Joey Votto hit a three-run homer in the first — he drove in five runs overall — and Eugenio Suarez followed with a solo shot. Arrieta went six innings and allowed eight hits and five runs.
Arrieta drove in a run with his fourth career triple in the fifth, a drive to right field that Scooter Gennett misplayed and missed as he tried to make a diving catch on the warning track.
Cubs: Ben Zobrist was held out for a second straight game because of a stiff back. Manager Joe Maddon expects him to be available on Sunday.
Reds: Manager Bryan Price said RH Rookie Davis could return from the DL and start on Wednesday at Milwaukee. Davis is recovering from a bruised forearm.
Cubs: John Lackey (1-2) gave up four runs in six innings of a 6-3 loss to Milwaukee in his last start, his second straight loss. He’s 5-4 in 13 career starts against the Reds with a 3.56 ERA.
Reds: Bronson Arroyo (1-2) got his first major league victory in nearly three years, beating Baltimore 9-3 on Tuesday. He became the first Reds 40-year-old pitcher to win a game sine Boom-Boom Beck in 1945. He’s 13-7 career against the Cubs but hasn’t faced them since 2014.