CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning to help Mike Leake and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 on Sunday.
Votto connected on Ryan Dempster's first pitch after he was visited by manager Lou Piniella. The two-out drive was Votto's seventh of the season and handed the decision to Leake, who didn't allow a hit until the sixth and finished with seven solid innings.
Jonny Gomes and Drew Stubbs each drove in a run as the Reds capped a 4-2 homestand with their third win in four games.
Tyler Colvin hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give Chicago a 3-2 lead, but the Cubs still stumbled to their fourth loss in five games.
Ramon Hernandez led off the Cincinnati seventh with a double but was thrown out at third on Leake's sacrifice attempt. Leake advanced on Orlando Cabrera's single before being replaced by pinch-runner Chris Heisey. Brandon Phillips bounced into a fielder's choice, but Votto followed with his second homer in two games, a long drive to right.
Leake (3-0), who made his major league debut against the Cubs on April 11 without spending a day in the minors, retired the first 10 batters he faced — five on strikeouts — before walking Kosuke Fukudome with one out in the fourth. Derrek Lee promptly grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Starlin Castro, who made his major league debut on Friday, led off the sixth with the Cubs' first hit, barely beating out a sharp grounder up the middle. Phillips' throw from second base just missed nipping Castro.
Chicago finally got to Leake with two out in the seventh. Marlon Byrd doubled, moved to third on Aramis Ramirez's infield single and scored on a wild pitch. Colvin then hit a drive to right for his fourth homer.
Leake, the eighth overall selection in the 2009 draft, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one.
Jay Bruce and Gomes led off the second inning with back-to-back doubles to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. Gomes stole third and scored on Stubbs' grounder to shortstop.
Dempster (2-3) gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
NOTES: The Reds' 14-2 win on Saturday was their largest margin of victory in a game since they beat the Mariners 16-1 at Seattle on June 22, 2007. ... Dempster, who pitched for the Reds at Great American Ball Park in 2003, is 0-7 in 27 appearances at the facility.