Mat Latos finally broke into the win column as the Reds rode a big third inning to claim the three game set against the Cubs in Chicago on Wednesday.
Latos (1-0) watched an eight run lead erased in his last start, but got just enough offense over his seven innings of work to pick up the win. Edwin Jackson (5-8) was far from matching Latos as he lasted just 5.1 innings allowing four runs on six hits and four walks.
The Reds (39-38) jumped right on Jackson in the first inning as Todd Frazier singled and then stole second. That set up an RBI double by Jay Bruce, but Cincinnati's chance for a big inning was cut short when Joey Votto was thrown out at home. The Cubs (32-44) tied the game in the fourth when Ryan Sweeney doubled and then came in to score on an RBI single by Starlin Castro.
Things got away from Jackson in the sixth when he started the inning with a lead off walk to Frazier. Votto doubled home Frazier and then came in to score on another RBI double by Bruce. Chris Heisey stranded runners on second and third when he was struck out by Jackson, but that would be all for the Cubs' starter. James Russell came on in relief and allowed on inherited runner to score on a sacrifice bunt by Skip Schumaker, then intentionally walked Zack Cozart before striking out Latos to end any further damage.
Latos allowed just one hit after the Reds seized the lead and then Jonathan Broxton worked a 1-2-3 inning eighth to set up a save opportunity for Aroldis Chapman. Chapman retired the first two hitters, but pinch hitter Justin Ruggiano hit a ball that looked to go over the wall and bounce back for a home run, but umpires ruled it a double and replay confirmed that it hit the top part of the netting over the wall in right field and did not go over. Chapman responded by striking out Mike Olt to notch his 14th save of the year.
The Reds now head to San Francisco on Thursday for a showdown with the Giants (46-32) where they are riding high after Tim Lincecum tossed his second career no-hitter on Wednesday against San Diego. Ryan Vogelsong (5-3, 4.13 ERA) takes the ball for the home team while Mike Leake (5-6, 3.59 ERA). Leake is hoping for a follow up to is eight inning performance in his last start in which he allowed just one run on four hits.