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Zack Cozart, Jay Bruce power Reds over Cubs, 9-5

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Posted at 7:16 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 21:23:59-04

CHICAGO -- Zack Cozart and Jay Bruce each clubbed two-run homers and the Cincinnati Reds never trailed en route to a 9-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

Cozart went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, Billy Hamilton was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored twice while Bruce slugged a two-run homer in the ninth -- his 18th -- as the Reds (31-54) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Reds starter Brandon Finnegan (4-7) worked five innings and broke a three-game losing streak for the win as Cincinnati evened the series at a victory apiece.

Cubs starter John Lackey (7-5) was hit for six early runs and took the loss in a six-inning outing, his third setback since June 20.

Addison Russell went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI while Kris Bryant clubbed his major league-leading 25th home run for the Cubs (52-31).

The Reds scored twice in a rocky first for Lackey, who issued three walks and gave up a single. Lackey walked Hamilton and Joey Votto, both advanced on a passed ball and Hamilton scored when a throw to home from catcher Ross to Lackey was off target. Lackey then walked Bruce and gave up a run-scoring single to Brandon Phillips that brought home Votto. Bruce was out at third out on a throw from Willson Contreras to Bryant to end the inning.

Cozart's 13th homer of the season with two out in the second also scored Finnegan -- who had reached on a fielder's choice -- for a 4-0 Reds' lead.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected by home plate umpire Jerry Meals in the second inning after arguing balls and strikes during a David Ross at-bat. It was his second ejection of the season.

Eugenio Suarez made it 5-0 with two out in the third with a double to the right-field corner to score Phillips from first.

The Cubs got four runs back in the third, hitting Finnegan with a season-high three home runs in the inning to trim the margin to 5-4. Javier Baez send a leadoff solo home run to left for his ninth homer of the year while Bryant followed with a one-out shot to nearly the same spot for his major league-leading 25th. With two out, Russell clubbed his 10th of the season, a two-run homer that scored Anthony Rizzo.

The Reds restored a two-run lead in the fourth at 6-4 as Votto drove in Cozart with a one-out sacrifice to center.

Russell hit another to left -- his 11th -- to trim the Reds lead to 6-5 in bottom of the fifth. It was his second career-multi-homer game of his career and first this season.

Finnegan was pulled for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He allowed five runs on five hits, walked four and struck out five and gave up four home runs.

Lackey worked six innings and likewise was replaced by a pinch hitter. He allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits while walking five and striking out four through six innings.

Votto drove in Hamilton for an insurance run and a 7-5 lead with none out in the seventh off Cubs reliever Travis Wood. Bruce's ninth inning home run came off Cubs reliever Pedro Strop and drove in Votto.

NOTES: With minor league pitching coach Ted Power moving to the big league club, the Reds said his Triple-A Louisville duties will be shared by player development staffers Mario Soto, Jeff Fassero and Tony Fossas. ...   The Cubs send RHP Adam Warren (3-1, 4.56 ERA) against Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (2-0, 1.78 ERA) in Wednesday's series finale. ... A Chicago win over the Reds on  Wednesday would give them their fifth straight series against Cincinnati dating back to last season.