Simon earns 12th win as Reds beat Cubs again

Cincinnati, OH ( - Alfredo Simon was once again solid on the hill and the Cincinnati Reds picked up another win over the Chicago Cubs, 4-1, on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.

Simon (12-3) recorded his NL-leading 12th victory by limiting the Cubs to one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked just two in posting his 16th quality start of the year.

"I'm very happy with myself right now," Simon said. "It's been my best year in the big leagues."

Brandon Phillips went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Reds before suffering a sprained left thumb when he made a diving stop at second base in the eighth inning.

Despite Phillips' exit, Cincinnati earned its fifth consecutive victory, including the first four meetings in this five-game NL Central series.

Anthony Rizzo became the first Cubs player to hit 20 home runs before the All- Star break since Rick Monday did so in 1973, but the club still dropped its sixth straight on the heels of a promising four-game winning streak.

Dallas Beeler (0-2), in his second major league start, went five innings and was touched for four runs on five hits and four walks to take the loss.

"His command was not where he wanted it to be," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of the rookie. "He kept us in the ballgame."

Simon stranded runners on the corners the first two innings, then coughed up a solo shot to Rizzo in the third frame.

The right-hander responded by retiring the next 13 hitters he faced before the combination of Manny Parra, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman closed out the gem. Chapman struck out the side in the ninth to claim his 19th save.

Brayan Pena worked a two-out walked in the second frame and crossed home just before Ramon Santiago was tagged out trying to stretch a double into a triple.

After Rizzo took Simon deep to tie things, the Reds went ahead with a trio of two-out runs in the fifth. With Zack Cozart on second, Billy Hamilton lined a gapper to right that Justin Ruggiano misplayed into an RBI triple.

After Skip Schumaker walked, Phillips and Jay Bruce laced run-scoring base hits to put the Reds in front by a 4-1 margin.

Game Notes

Simon improved to 6-0 in his last eight outings, all of which were quality starts ... Cincinnati leads the season series 9-3 and upped its record to 32-9 against the Cubs in their last 41 matchups ... Arismendy Alcantara made his MLB debut for Chicago at second base and went 0-for-4 ... Cubs manager Rick Renteria was ejected by third base umpire Andy Fletcher for arguing a foul ball call in the fifth inning ... The Reds go for the rare five-game sweep Thursday with Homer Bailey toeing the rubber opposite Kyle Hendricks, who will be making his big league debut.