Miguel Cairo hit a grand slam to help make Edinson Volquez's return to the majors a success and the Cincinnati Reds continued their dominance of the Chicago Cubs with an 8-2 win Tuesday night.
Volquez (4-2), recalled earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Louisville, lasted a season-high seven innings. He allowed one run and seven hits while walking two and striking out five. He improved his career record against Chicago to 4-0 in six starts.
He also contributed two sacrifice bunts and a rally starting single as Cincinnati sent the Cubs to their eighth consecutive loss - their longest skid since losing eight in a row from May 15 through May 25 of last season.
The Reds are 6-1 this season against Chicago, including 4-0 in Cincinnati, and 16-5 over the last two seasons, 10-3 in Cincinnati.
The Reds were up 4-1 in the seventh when Cairo hit his second career grand slam - a 406-foot shot to left on a 1-1 pitch from John Grabow - and first since Aug. 12, 2004, for the New York Yankees at Texas.
Volquez, who cut his familiar dreadlocks, turned in a scoreless first inning for just the fourth time in his 11 starts this season, but the Cubs got back-to-back doubles by Aramis Ramirez and Blake DeWitt starting the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. They loaded the bases as Volquez threw 30 pitches, just 13 for strikes, before Darwin Barney grounded out to end the threat.
Volquez helped the Reds tie the game in the third, following Paul Janish's leadoff single off of Cubs left-hander Doug Davis with a sacrifice that set up Drew Stubbs' RBI double.
In the fourth, Jay Bruce led off by grounding a single up the middle and eventually scored on Ramon Hernandez's sacrifice fly.
Volquez helped generate some insurance in the fifth, leading off with a ground single through the hole into left field. Stubbs followed with a single, and Davis walked Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto to force in Cincinnati's third run. Jonny Gomes added a sacrifice fly off reliever Rodrigo Lopez.
Davis, who's lost all five of his starts since being called up on May 14 from Triple-A Iowa, allowed seven hits and four runs - all earned - with three walks and four strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings.
NOTES: The Reds optioned RHP Daryl Thompson to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Volquez. ... LHP Aroldis Chapman's rehab assignment was switched to Double-Carolina, mainly because of convenience with Louisville on the road. "The competition doesn't matter as much as getting on the mound," manager Dusty Baker said. "Right now, his competition is himself." ... Cubs left fielder Blake DeWitt had three hits for the second consecutive night and third time in his last eight games. Since May 31, he is 13-for-30 (.433), raising his overall average from .239 to .316.
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