Sonny Gray pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and rookie Aristides Aquino smacked a two-run home run to help the visiting Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Tuesday night to snap Chicago’s five-game winning streak.
Gray (11-7) limited the Cubs to two runs and four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. It marked his 32nd consecutive start with no more than six hits allowed.
Raisel Iglesias struck out two in a perfect ninth inning for his 32nd save in 37 chances as the Reds capped a five-hitter.
Chicago (82-69) fell into a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the second National League wild-card spot, as Milwaukee defeated the San Diego Padres earlier Tuesday. Both Chicago and Milwaukee are 1 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals for the top wild-card spot.
The Cubs and Brewers are also two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central after Washington beat St. Louis on Tuesday.
Cincinnati (71-81) reached Chicago starter Yu Darvish for three runs in the first inning. Joey Votto opened the scoring with a double to score Josh VanMeter, who led off the game with a single. Two batters later, Aquino drilled an 0-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field for a two-run home run, his 16th homer of the season.
Kyle Schwarber continued his torrid season-long stretch against the Reds, going 3-for-4 and finishing a home run short of the cycle. Schwarber doubled home a run in the first inning before hitting an RBI triple in the third.
In 18 games against the Reds, Schwarber has 16 hits, including seven home runs.
Darvish (6-7) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings with one walk and 13 strikeouts, giving him 27 strikeouts over his past two starts covering 13 innings.
Darvish struck out eight successive batters from the second through fourth innings, joining Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets and Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox in accomplishing that feat this season.
Gray defeated the Cubs for the third time in five starts in 2019. Eugenio Suarez, who had two hits, capped the scoring with an RBI single in the fifth.
With the victory, the Reds took a 10-8 edge in the season series and assured themselves of their first winning record against the Cubs since 2014, when they went 11-8.