CHICAGO — After striking out three times, Joey Votto was looking for a pitch he wouldn't make an out on.
When he saw it, the Cincinnati Reds first baseman made sure he didn't miss.
Votto hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning that was set up by third baseman Kris Bryant's two-out error, lifting the Reds over the Chicago Cubs 7-4 on Wednesday.
Cubs closer Hector Rondon (5-3) retired the first two batters in the ninth. Jason Bourgeois, who homered earlier, followed with a single.
Jay Bruce hit a hard grounder that went through Bryant's legs for an error, and Votto connected for his 27th home run.
"It was a quality pitch I sent in the right direction," Votto said. "We ended up getting three runs from it."
Bryant hit a two-run homer in the eighth that made it 4-all. The rookie has 22 home runs and 84 RBIs this season.
But it was Bryant's error that extended the ninth inning for the Reds, allowing Votto another at-bat.
"It's tough," Bryant said. "Obviously, you're on Cloud 9 when you hit the game-tying home run, then you blow it the next inning. But sometimes baseball works that way. It's a crazy game. I mean, it gives you everything and then takes everything away."
Reds rookie Raisel Iglesias struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing three hits. It was his third straight start with double-digit strikeouts. Iglesias worked out of trouble in the seventh with the Reds leading 4-2, a runner on third and one out. Iglesias, battling fatigue and temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, struck out Addison Russell and got pinch-hitter Starlin Castro to ground out, ending the threat.
"Those were really tough innings with the weather and with how things were going," Iglesias said through a translator. "I'm getting to the point where I was in need of more adrenaline and so I was pumping up myself to get the extra power that I needed."
J.J. Hoover (7-0) got the win despite giving up Bryant's homer. Aroldis Chapman closed for his 27th save.
Tommy La Stella and Anthony Rizzo hit solo home runs for the Cubs, who began the day with a 6 1-2 game lead over San Francisco for the second NL wild-card spot.
The Reds, meanwhile, won a series after failing to do so in the entire month of August.
"It feels great," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Even though we're in last place right now, the wins still feel great and it's important to keep hunting those victories and playing hard."
Reds: OF Billy Hamilton (right shoulder) was set to begin throwing for the first time on Wednesday. "We're hoping for a good report once he finishes playing catch," Price said. "Hopefully, then he can swing a bat."
Cubs: Rookie Kyle Schwarber was scratched about a half-hour before the start of the game with right rib soreness. ... OF Jorge Soler (left oblique strain) said he is feeling fine and hopes to begin swinging a bat later this week.
Reds: Following a day off on Thursday, they begin a three-game home series against Milwaukee on Friday. RHP Keyvius Sampson (2-2, 6.43 ERA) goes for the Reds in the opener vs. RHP Matt Garza (6-14, 5.56).
Cubs: Off on Thursday. The homestand resumes Friday with the first of three against Arizona. LHP Jon Lester (8-10, 3.59 ERA) pitches the opener.