CINCINNATI -- Jay Bruce has become a trade-rumor fixture for the Reds before July 31, and his work on Monday night probably didn't hurt his value. Bruce went 2-for-4 and his two-run home run in the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner for the Reds as they claimed a 5-4 victory over the Cubs at Great American Ball Park.
Chicago scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning against Michael Lorenzen, including a two-out, two-run double by Jorge Soler, to take a 4-3 lead for starter Clayton Richard. Following a double play in the sixth, Cubs manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen and saw his move backfire.
"That falls under the category of the right thing to do, but it didn't work," Maddon said. "[Todd] Frazier had two good at-bats. I'm just trying to keep it right there. [Justin] Grimm has been outstanding. He hasn't been good, he's been outstanding, so it's the right spot for him. Even with Bruce, I felt really good about him there."
Reliever Justin Grimm walked Todd Frazier before he gave up the long ball to right field by Bruce. Despite twisting his left knee fielding a comebacker, Ryan Mattheus pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the victory after the Reds bullpen survived some late threats. Brandon Phillips saved the tying run with a nice defensive play in the seventh. In the eighth, J.J. Hoover had a runner on third base and one out before escaping. And coming off a 44-pitch outing on Sunday, Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts for his 19th save.
"We battled back," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The bullpen did a super job and the offense stayed with it and got us the lead. The bullpen came in and shut it down."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Frazier ends homer drought: With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Frazier ended a season-long 15-game stretch without a homer when he took Richard deep and cleared the center-field fence to make it a 1-1 game. It was Frazier's team-leading 26th homer of the season and his first since June 28. Marlon Byrd hit a solo blast in the fourth for Cincinnati's other home run. It was Byrd's 16th homer of the season.
"It's a new week," Frazier said. "When Monday comes around, we've got a new team coming in, a team I'm familiar with and it's time to take care of business. No more excuses now. The All-Star break is over. You don't blame it on being tired. You don't blame it on anything else. You have aches and pains, but you've got to play, that's it."
Cubs regain lead: The Cubs put together a three-run top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Kris Bryant started the rally with a ground-rule double that scored Addison Russell from third base. Soler then hit a two-out double to right field, scoring Kyle Schwarber and Bryant.
Moon shot to moon deck: Cincinnati reclaimed the lead when Bruce lifted Grimm's 1-1 pitch very high into the night sky. The ball landed deep into the right-field moon deck for a two-run homer. According to Statcast™, it traveled 438 feet with an exit velocity of 107 mph. Bruce, who has 15 homers this season, has two blasts and six RBIs over his last three games.
"They all count. That was one of those you didn't really feel off the bat," Bruce said.
Phillips dazzles with glove: The Cubs were threatening with runners on first and second in the seventh inning when Soler hit a sharp grounder back up the middle. However, Phillips was there to make a diving stop and flip it behind his back to Eugenio Suarez for the inning-ending forceout at second base. If the ball had gone through, there was a good chance Dexter Fowler would have scored the game-tying run from second base.
"That's got to be the top one or two on his list, for sure," Frazier said. "And then Suarez reaching out like he's on the finish line was pretty cool."More >
Ross is tossed
Cubs catcher David Ross wasn't in the lineup on Monday but still managed to be ejected from the game. While Fowler was at the plate to lead off the seventh inning, Ross started yelling at home-plate umpire Paul Schrieber from the dugout. After a little back-and-forth between the two, Schrieber tossed Ross. Maddon came out of the dugout to talk to Schrieber following the ejection but remained in the game.
"I told Paul what I thought, it was kind of rapid," Maddon said. "... It caught me off guard. I had my head down when the play occurred. I was looking at something then I hear the yelling, then I knew what had happened. Then I thought it was over and obviously it wasn't over."
"He went out there and played catch and said, 'I'm good to go.' Without hesitation. … It's trusting they're going to be honest with you. Chappy has built that up. I didn't anticipate coming to the ballpark and he'd be good to go. … He's in that mid-season form. He's throwing the ball great and doing everything he can to be ready go. I never really thought about it today that there would be a chance he'd be able to pitch after throwing 44 pitches yesterday. He's a stud." -- Price, on using Chapman one day after he threw a career-high number of pitches
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs: Right-hander Jason Hammel will take the mound for the Cubs in the second game of a four-game series against the Reds on Tuesday. It will be the first start for Hammel since leaving after one inning with left hamstring tightness on July 8. First pitch at Great American Ball Park is at 7:10 p.m. ET/6:10 p.m. CT.
Reds:Raisel Iglesias will make his first start of the second half on Tuesday. On July 11 during his previous outing at Miami, Iglesias returned from the disabled list and gave up five earned runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in a 14-3 defeat.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.