Chicago feels right at home in Cincinnati, where there always are lots of Cubs' fans and batters find it easy to hit home runs.
"This ballpark is really good for the type of team we have," Chicago Manager Dusty Baker said last night after a 12-4 victory over the Reds extended the Cubs' winning streak to five.
On a night after Aramis Ramirez homered three times, three Cubs had one each. Derrek Lee drove in five runs with a three-run homer and a two-run double, and Ben Grieve homered and drove in three runs.
Even Carlos Zambrano (14-8) homered, the third of his career and the first since July 2003 at Houston.
"Right now I'm focused on getting to the playoffs," said Zambrano, who won for the third time in four decisions. "That's my main concern."
He allowed six hits -- two off his bare right hand -- in seven innings, struck out five and walked three.
Chicago, 7-4 against the Reds this season, began the night a half-game behind San Francisco in the wild-card race.
"Things are clicking," Lee said of the Cubs, who have won five in a row four times this year. "It seems that one guy every night is having a good night, and that's what it takes."
* DODGERS 8, ROCKIES 6: Cesar Izturis hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the 10th inning, helping visiting Los Angeles overcome another shaky start by Hideo Nomo.
Los Angeles, which trailed 6-1 in the second inning, had lost four of five, dropping its NL West lead over San Francisco from six games to 21/2.
Shawn Chacon (1-8) walked Milton Bradley leading off the 10th, then issued a two-out walk to Robin Ventura. Izturis followed with a double that just missed going over the wall in right.
Bradley and Shawn Green homered for the Dodgers. Eric Gagne (7-3), Los Angeles' seventh pitcher of the night, worked the final two innings in the 3-hour 55-minute game for the win. The teams used 43 players, including 22 by Los Angeles.
* ASTROS 2, BREWERS 1: Roy Oswalt aggravated a ribcage injury but pitched long enough to get his 18th win, and Mike Lamb hit a go-ahead homer off former Olympic teammate Ben Sheets in the seventh in Houston.
Houston, which had only four hits, won for just the fifth time in nine games following a 12-game winning streak. The Astros, who ended the game by throwing out a runner at the plate, began the night two games behind San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.
Oswalt (18-9), who leads the NL in wins, improved to 10-1 in 13 starts since July 17, allowing one run and eight hits in seven innings. His left ribcage has been bothering him for several weeks, but he has not missed a start. The injury also forced him out of a game on Sept. 1 at Cincinnati.
* EXPOS 12, PHILLIES 8: Tony Batista hit a go-ahead two-run single in Montreal's five-run ninth in Philadelphia.
Batista had three RBI to give him 100, and Juan Rivera went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBI for the Expos, who trailed by four in the eighth.
* CARDINALS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Jim Edmonds tripled home the winning run in the 10th inning in St. Louis.
Albert Pujols walked off Scott Service (1-1) starting the 10th and easily scored on Edmonds's drive to the wall in right-center. Edmonds has 110 RBI, matching his career best in 2001.
* BRAVES 8, MARLINS 1: Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer to help Atlanta overcome an early deficit in Miami. Paul Byrd (8-5), starting on three days' rest for the first time this season, allowed nine hits but just one run in five innings. He threw 67 pitches -- all but 11 for strikes.
* METS-PIRATES, PPD.: The opener of the three-game series in Pittsburgh was postponed because of rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday at 1:35 p.m.