Edwin Jackson threw seven innings of one-run ball and smacked his second career home run to lead the Chicago Cubs in a 9-1 drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Jackson (8-15), who turned 30 on Monday, scattered nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts to pick up his first win since July 31.
Welington Castillo homered twice and drove in three runs, while Donnie Murphy also went deep and had three RBI in the convincing victory, Chicago's second straight after taking the opener of the set, 2-0, on Monday.
"We're playing better," Castillo said.
The setbacks have dropped the Reds three games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals, though they still hold a healthy lead for the final wild card spot.
Cincinnati used five relievers after Tony Cingrani (7-4) aggravated a back injury in the second inning. It was the rookie left-hander's second start since returning from the disabled list.
The Reds were 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the series before Corky Miller ended the drought in the seventh inning with a pinch-hit double to score Zack Cozart from second base.
By that point, though, Chicago had already built an insurmountable 9-0 lead.
After giving up a leadoff double to Junior Lake in the second inning, Cingrani grooved an 89 mph fastball right down the middle that Castillo crushed an estimated 470 feet into the second deck in left field.
Two batters later, Cingrani walked off the mound with discomfort and was replaced on the mound by Greg Reynolds, who served up another two-run blast to Murphy in the third and an RBI single to Darnell McDonald later in the inning.
Jackson scored in the fourth on Darwin Barney's sacrifice fly, and Murphy doubled down the left-field line in the sixth to plate Barney for a 7-0 game.
Castillo recorded his first multi-home run game with a towering solo shot to center field off Curtis Partch in the seventh, and Jackson launched a no- doubter into the left-field stands two batters later.
"They can hit," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of the Cubs.
Jackson also homered on April 11, 2010 against Pittsburgh ... The Cubs collected their 62nd victory of the season, surpassing their win total from a year ago ... The Cubs have hit six home runs in the series and have 160 on the year, good for second in the NL ... Cozart extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double in the seventh inning ... Reds first baseman Joey Votto celebrated his 30th birthday with two hits.