Rizzo homers again, Cubs beat virus-unsettled Reds 8-7

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Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber (12) celebrates with teammates after the Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 8-7 in a baseball game in Cincinnati, Monday, July 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

CINCINNATI – Manager David Ross was starting to relax with a seven-run lead. Didn't take long for him to remember from his playing days that Great American Ball Park can erase most anything.

Anthony Rizzo homered for the third time as Chicago built a seven-run lead, and the Cubs let most of it slip away before Jeremy Jeffress closed out an 8-7 victory over a Cincinnati Reds team coping with coronavirus uncertainty.

Then, Ross could exhale.

“I played here in Cincinnati and understand how quickly things can turn around,” the first-year manager said. “The other team never feels out of the game. This field makes you feel a homer is just around the corner.”

Down 8-1 in the seventh inning, the Reds cut it to 8-5 on Joey Votto’s two-run single. Craig Kimbrel walked the bases loaded with one out in the ninth, and then hit Freddy Galvis and walked Tyler Stephenson to cut it to 8-7.

Ross decided to bring in Jeffress, who fanned Phillip Ervin and retired Votto on a liner to center for his first save with the Cubs.

“What baseball's all about,” Jeffress said.

Rizzo scored three times as the Cubs won for the third time in four games. The Reds dropped to 1-3, an especially disappointing start after their $165 million offseason makeover.