CINCINNATI — Eugenio Suarez hit a go-ahead homer off Jose Quintana in the fifth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds held on for their fifth straight victory Friday night, 6-3 over the Chicago Cubs.
The Reds have won the first two games in the series, a recent rarity in the rivalry. It’s only the second time in the last two years that they’ve won back-to-back games in a series against the Cubs. Chicago is 43-21 against Cincinnati over the last four seasons.
Suarez’s two-run shot in the fifth inning off Quintana (6-6) gave him a team-high 16 homers and put the Reds ahead 4-3. Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto also singled home runs off Quintana, who had allowed only six earned runs in his last four starts combined.
Suarez also singled twice and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, the longest by a Reds third baseman since Todd Frazier hit in 14 straight in 2014.
Javier Baez drove in a run with a bunt single off Luis Castillo (5-8), and Kyle Schwarber followed with a two-run homer, his third in four games. Castillo went 5 2/3 innings for his first victory since May 24, ending a streak of four straight losses.
Raisel Iglesias retired the side in the ninth for his 12th save in 14 chances.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo went a combined 0 for 8 with three strikeouts as Chicago’s offense struggled. The Cubs have been held to three runs or less in five of their last six games.
Cincinnati’s winning streak is one shy of its season high. The Reds are last in the NL Central at 30-45.
Left-handed reliever Brian Duensing was activated off the bereavement list before the game. He had been gone for four days to attend his grandfather’s funeral. The Cubs optioned right-hander Justin Hancock to Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs: Yu Darvish could begin a rehab assignment next week. He threw 50 pitches in a simulated game without problem on Wednesday. Darvish has been sidelined since May 23 because of tendinitis in his right triceps.
Reds: Homer Bailey will make a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday, throwing between 75 and 90 pitches. Bailey has been sidelined since June 2 with a sore right knee. He’s 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA.
Cubs: Tyler Chatwood’s wife is due to deliver, leaving the Cubs’ weekend pitching plans in flux.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani makes his fourth start. He was sidelined for the first two months with a strained oblique suffered during spring training. DeSclafani is 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA.