CINCINNATI — One bad fastball turned into Bronson Arroyo's undoing.
Kosuke Fukudome hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Arroyo, and the Chicago Cubs finally ended years of futility against the right-hander by beating the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday night.
Fukudome's homer in the fifth inning sent Arroyo (14-8) to his first loss against the Cubs since 2007. Arroyo had won his previous five decisions against Chicago, including his two starts this season. He felt good in this one, too.
"I had command of my fastball, which doesn't always happen," Arroyo said. "I kept the ball down, for the most part."
A fastball that strayed right down the middle to Fukudome allowed the Cubs to get that breakthrough win.
Randy Wells (6-12) got a victory on his 28th birthday — his first win since July 23. Wells limited the NL's top offense to five hits and a pair of runs in six innings, including Joey Votto's solo homer. Chicago's bullpen allowed only one hit, with Carlos Marmol pitching the ninth for his 24th save in 29 tries.
It was only Chicago's fourth win in 15 games against Cincinnati this season.
Despite the loss, the Reds remained four games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central. The Cardinals lost to Washington, 14-5, their fourth loss in five games. Since getting swept by St. Louis, the Reds have gone 10-4 to take control of the division.
Second baseman Brandon Phillips missed a second straight game with a bruised right hand. Outfielder Laynce Nix has a sprained ankle, and infielder Miguel Cairo has a sore leg.
"That's good, especially with our bench beat up," manager Dusty Baker said. "We didn't have Nix. Brandon wasn't available. And we couldn't use Cairo."
Votto hit his 32nd homer off Wells in the fourth inning — he trails Cardinals star Albert Pujols for the NL lead.
There were thousands of blue-shirted Cubs fans in the crowd of 41,292, the eighth capacity crowd at Great American Ball Park this season.
Volquez out of rotation
Edinson Volquez has lost his spot in the Reds' rotation.
The right-hander was moved to the bullpen Saturday, giving him a chance to try to fix problems in his delivery. He retired only two batters in his last start, an 11-2 loss in San Francisco on Monday.
Volquez returned in July, less than a year after he had reconstructive elbow surgery. He's throwing hard but has been wildly inconsistent.
Volquez was scheduled to start the final game of a series against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Instead, rookie Travis Wood will take his place. Baker says Volquez will work on his delivery in the bullpen and be available in relief.