Backed by home runs, Darvish beats Reds 6-1 for 1st win with Cubs

Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI — Yu Darvish recovered from a shaky start to earn his first win with the Cubs, and Kyle Schwarber hit one of Chicago’s three home runs Sunday in a 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Schwarber launched a two-run drive, and Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist each had a solo shot to help the Cubs take three of four in the series. Darvish (1-3) went six innings and allowed only two hits, both in the first, during his eighth start since signing a $126 million, six-year contract with Chicago last offseason.

In his second outing since coming off the disabled list Tuesday, the four-time All-Star overcame a 39-pitch first inning and finished six for the third time this season. He allowed one run with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Tyler Mahle gave up all three Chicago long balls, passing Homer Bailey for the team lead in homers allowed with 13. The Cubs reached Mahle (3-6) for seven hits, two walks and four runs. He struck out six.

Chicago outscored the Reds 16-1 over the final two games of the series while completing a 4-2 road trip. The Reds are 2-5 since sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Los Angeles for the first time since August 1976.

The Reds scored their only run on Scott Schebler’s bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the first. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell went deep into the hole to backhand the ball, but he couldn’t hang onto it. Darvish retired the following eight batters and nine of the next 10.

Schwarber gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead in the second with his first home run since April 26. Baez, who went into the game leading the National League with 37 RBIs, followed with his first since May 7.

Zobrist led off the fifth with his second homer of the season and first since April 8. The Cubs capitalized on first baseman Joey Votto’s throwing error to add two unearned runs in the seventh.