Mike Tauchman also went deep and finished with four RBIs as Chicago won for the ninth time in 11 games, bouncing back in a major way after a 6-5 loss in the opener of the four-game series. The Cubs bashed seven homers while also setting season highs for runs and hits with 21.
Jeimer Candelario went 4 for 5 and scored two runs in his first game since he was reacquired by Chicago in a trade with Washington on Monday. Candelario also made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2016.
Chicago (54-53) pulled within four games of NL Central-leading Cincinnati. It is 3 1/2 games out in the wild-card race.
“We got a great team,” Swanson said. “We got a lot of great camaraderie. I feel like you can just see the work that we’ve put in not only on the field but off the field and what we expect out of one another. It’s been a fun experience.”
Tyler Stephenson hit a two-run homer for the Reds, and Matt McLain finished with three hits and two RBIs. Christian Encarnacion-Strand added a two-run single in the team's four-run ninth inning.
Cincinnati (59-50) had its division lead trimmed to a half-game over Milwaukee, which won 6-4 at Washington.
Swanson hit a three-run homer in Chicago's five-run first against Ben Lively (4-7). He added a two-run drive in the fourth for his 15th homer this season, helping the Cubs build a 13-2 lead.
Cody Bellinger, Nico Hoerner, Patrick Wisdom and Miguel Amaya also went deep. Wisdom and Amaya connected against catcher Luke Maile, who got the final four outs for the Reds.
The seven homers for Chicago matched a modern franchise record for the team, last accomplished on May 17, 1977, versus San Diego.
Lively was charged with a career-high 13 runs and 13 hits in four innings. He became the first Reds pitcher to allow 13 runs in a game since Charles “King” Lear allowed 13 runs in eight innings on July 24, 1915, at Philadelphia, according to Elias Sports.
The 13 earned runs were the most surrendered by a big league pitcher since Vin Mazzaro was charged with 14 in an outing for the Kansas City Royals on May 16, 2011, against Cleveland.
“It's not fun to see when your guy's out there having to go through that,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He's pitched so well for us. That was kind of the situation we were in in trying to get him as far as we could and manage the bullpen the best we could.”
Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (12-3) pitched six innings in his third consecutive win. He permitted five runs, four earned, and nine hits.
“Anytime you get a win, put up 20 runs, it’s a good day at the ballpark,” Steele said. “It’s good to be on that side of things.”
Sam Moll joined Cincinnati one day after he was acquired in a trade with Oakland. The lefty reliever pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his Reds debut.
“It’s exciting. Obviously a quick turnaround,” Moll said before the loss. “One day you’re in one color. The next day you’re in the other, so it’s just a little bit of just craziness. But same game, same thing, same job.”
Right-hander Daniel Duarte was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room on the roster.
Cincinnati did not make another trade ahead of the deadline.
“We had a lot of conversations,” general manager Nick Krall said. “I thought we were getting closer, but at the end of the day, just couldn’t pull off a deal.”
Veteran first baseman Trey Mancini was designated for assignment to make room on Chicago's roster for Candelario.
Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (right hip pain) pitched two scoreless innings in a rehab appearance with the Arizona Complex League Reds. ... RHP Casey Legumina (shoulder pain) had his rehab assignment transferred from the ACL to Louisville.
Drew Smyly (8-7, 4.50 ERA) starts Wednesday night for Chicago. Brandon Williamson (3-2, 4.48 ERA) pitches for Cincinnati in a matchup of left-handers.
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