The Reds opened a rare five-game series with a 9-3 win over Chicago Monday.
Billy Hamilton drove in four runs, three on a bases clearing triple, and Jay Bruce homered for a second consecutive game blow the game open in the late innings.
Bruce now has 49 home runs against left-handers the last five years. The most of any Major League player in that span.
"Got a pitch that I can handle and put a good swing on it," said Bruce. "Was able to drive in a few runs. Drive in more than you let in."
Bruce, normally the Reds everyday right fielder, played first base for the first time in his career to cover for the injured Joey Votto. Bruce did have one error that led to a Cubs run.
"It wasn't a can of corn, but I expect to make the play," said Bruce of the error. "I've never been more stressed on a baseball field. That's for sure."
Bruce did make an error at first that cost the Reds a run, but his replacement in right field, Skip Schumaker, saved a run by throwing a runner out at home plate trying to score on a single.
Mike Leake allowed three earned runs in seven innings pitched to improve his record to 7-7 on the season.
"We got five great guys going out there throwing. I think there's only a couple teams doing better than us. But, we work hard and battle. We have a good rotation for a reason."
The Reds continue the series with Chicago Tuesday with a doubleheader at Great American Ball Park.
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