TJ Friedl hits a 3-run homer as the Reds beat the slumping Cubs 5-2

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 02: Ben Brown #32 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the third inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on June 02, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

TJ Friedl hit a three-run homer, Nick Lodolo pitched six effective innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the slumping Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Sunday.

Jake Fraley had three hits for Cincinnati, which took two of three in the weekend series. Spencer Steer and Jeimer Candelario each had two hits. 

Lodolo (5-2) allowed two runs and seven hits in his second straight win. The left-hander struck out three and walked one.

Nick Martinez tossed two scoreless innings for Cincinnati before Alexis Díaz got three outs for his 12th save.

Pinch-hitter Michael Busch reached on a leadoff walk in the ninth, but pinch-hitter Pete Crow-Armstrong flied out, Nico Hoerner bounced to shortstop and Seiya Suzuki struck out looking.

Cody Bellinger had three hits for Chicago, which lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

Cubs rookie Ben Brown (1-2) was charged with five runs and six hits in five innings. 

Brown was coming off a dominant performance in Milwaukee, striking out 10 while pitching seven no-hit innings on Tuesday.