CHICAGO (AP) — Joey Votto set a Reds franchise record by homering in his sixth consecutive game as Cincinnati beat the Chicago Cubs 7-4 on Thursday.
The 37-year-old Votto homered six times in the four-game series at Wrigley Field, and the big first baseman has eight home runs in the six-game streak for a record that dated back to 1900.
Votto’s 20th homer of the season was a two-run shot in the first, when he hit a fastball from Alec Mills (4-4) into the center field bleachers.
Chicago went ahead 3-2 lead before the Reds roughed up Mills in the sixth to go ahead to stay. After loading the bases with no outs, Tucker Barnhart drove in two runs on a soft groundball that went through the middle of the infield for a 4-3 lead.
The Reds have won five of their last seven games to stay in second place in the NL Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cincinnati added three runs off the Cubs bullpen in the seventh, with Kyle Farmer and Aristides Aquino each driving in a run and a Chicago error allowing a third to score.
The Cubs scored three runs off Luis Castillo (5-10), who had only given up three runs total in his first four starts. Patrick Wisdom hit his 16th home run in the fourth, and Wilson Contreras belted a two-run shot in the fifth.
Castillo finished with eight strikeouts in six innings, allowing seven hits.
Ian Happ hit a home run in the ninth off Reds reliever Heath Hembree.
Reds: Traded RHP Ashton Goudeau to the Colorado Rockies for cash. The team added RHP Mychal Givens and optioned RHP Ryan Hendrix to Triple-A Louisville.
Cubs: Traded RHP Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Bailey Horn.
Reds: Cincinnati manager David Bell said Mike Moustakas (heel) could start rehab games early next week in Louisville … Nick Senzel (knee) will start a rehab assignment in Louisville on Friday … Michael Lorenzen (hamstring) could return to the bullpen in New York this weekend … Bell said Nick Castellanos will test out his wrist and seems to be doing more each day.
Reds: RHP Sonny Gray (2-6, 4.50 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series in New York against the Mets on Friday night. Gray will look to rebound after allowing 13 runs over his last two starts.
Cubs: RHP Trevor Williams (4-2, 5.06 ERA) starts at Washington on Friday night.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports