Cubs 9, Reds 4
-- Derrek Lee hit two of Chicago's five homers off left-hander Brandon Claussen, bringing thousands of blue-clad fans to their feet for "MVP!" chants, and the resurgent Cubs rolled to an 9-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
Lee became the first major leaguer to reach 30 homers, hitting solo shots off Claussen (4-7) in his first two at-bats. Todd Walker also homered twice, extending his hitting streak to 11.
Aramis Ramirez added a solo shot in the Cubs' biggest homer barrage of the season. The five homers off Claussen equaled the most ever off a Reds pitcher.
The outburst hardly was a surprise. The series matches the NL's top two power-hitting clubs -- Cincinnati has 121 homers, the Cubs 120 -- in the ballpark that has yielded more homers than any other in the majors.
The Cubs have won seven of eight, moving back above .500 (47-45) with a solid stretch by their starting rotation. In the last eight games, Cubs starters have allowed only 12 earned runs.
Jerome Williams (2-3) gave up six hits -- three by Felipe Lopez -- in 62/3 innings. A two-run homer by Rich Aurilia cut it to 7-4 and ended Williams's outing.
The loss snapped Cincinnati's three-game winning streak, its longest this season.
A hot, sticky evening provided perfect conditions for the ball to carry, and it didn't take the Cubs long to take advantage of the NL's worst rotation. Reds starters lead the league in giving up runs and homers.
Claussen had the rotation's best ERA at 3.61, but didn't even make it out of the fourth inning. Chicago's five homers -- none of them a cheap shot -- traveled a combined 1,959 feet, landing in every part of the three-year-old ballpark.