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Reds 8, Cubs 2

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Right-hander Homer Bailey scattered three hits over six shutout innings as the Cincinnati Reds continued to dominate the Chicago Cubs with an 8-2 victory on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Bailey (1-1) struck out eight and walked three in his longest outing of the season.

The Reds took two-of-three games in the first of six 2014 series with the Cubs and have now won 15 of 20 games over Chicago.

The Cubs have lost their last 11 series dating to September 2013.

After a series of mostly inhospitable days, the Easter Sunday game featured sunny skies and summerlike 77-degree temperatures.

Cubs left hander Carlos Villanueva (1-4) worked 4 2/3 innings and suffered his second straight loss.

Shortstop Zach Cozart went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, catcher Devin Mesoraco was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while three other Reds contributed a pair of hits apiece in a 15-hit attack.

Three consecutive two-out hits in the fourth gave the Reds a 3-0 lead.

Mesoraco made it 1-0 lead when he lined an RBI double into the left-field corner, scoring third baseman Todd Frazier. Mesoraco came home on Cozart's two-base hit to center.

Cozart then scored on Bailey's grounder between third and short into left field.

The Reds added two more runs in the fifth. Frazier's two-out double drove home right fielder Jay Bruce for a 4-0 lead.

Left fielder Ryan Ludwick's base hit to left scored Frazier for a 5-0 advantage and marked the end for Villanueva, who departed for left-hander Wesley Wright.

Villanueva worked 4 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on nine hits. He struck out seven and walked one.

Bruce clubbed his third home run of the season in the seventh -- a solo shot to center off Cubs right-handed reliever Jose Veras -- for a 6-0 lead. Cozart followed with a two-out homer to left that drove home Mesoraco to make the score 8-0.

The Cubs broke the shutout in the seventh with two runs off left-handed reliever Manny Parra, who gave up back-to-back RBI singles to left fielder Ryan Sweeney and right fielder Nate Schierholtz.

Parra departed after he walked Mike Olt to load the bases with one out. Right-hander Sam LeCure entered and got catcher Welington Castillo to ground into an inning-ending double play.

NOTES: Cincinnati opens a four-game series at Pittsburgh on Monday where the Reds have nine shutouts since 2009, the most by any team at any ballpark. ... The Reds' 4-1 victory on Friday gave them an all-time .500 record (1,034-1034) for the first time since 1909 when the teams were 89-89. ... Bailey now has 10 straight wins against the Cubs dating to May 16, 2011. ... Frazier leads the Reds with four home runs and has started all 18 games. He was 0-for-7 on the road trip coming into Sunday and went 2-for-5 in the finale. ... The Reds send RHP Mike Leake (2-1, 2.95 ERA) against Pirates LHP Francisco Liriano (0-3, 3.96) on Monday. ... The Cubs remain home this week, kicking off a four-game series with the Diamondbacks on Monday night. ...1B Anthony Rizzo is the Cubs top hitter at home, batting .424 (13-for-28) and is tied for fourth in the National League in home average. ... The Cubs are in the third day of a stretch of 30 games in 31 days. Prior to the current run, the Cubs had five days off in the first three weeks of the season. ... The Cubs send LHP Travis Wood (0-2, 3.00 ERA) against RHP Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 9.95 ERA) to open a four-game Wrigley Field set on Monday against Arizona.
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