CINCINNATI — The Chicago Cubs were down, and the Cincinnati Reds had All-Star Luis Castillo on the mound.
Just when it looked as if the Cubs were in trouble, they rallied. Kris Bryant led the way.
Bryant capped Chicago's four-run seventh with a three-run homer, and the Cubs beat the Reds 6-3 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series.
"It was huge," Bryant said. "If you look at the game, they were rolling. Castillo was rolling. It felt like we might not win this game. That big inning was huge. The Reds have played us tough all year."
Ian Happ added a solo drive in the eighth as the NL Central leaders recovered after falling behind 3-0 in the fifth. David Phelps (1-0) pitched a perfect sixth for the win, and Pedro Strop got three outs for his 10th save.
Bryant, Happ, Jason Heyward and Nicholas Castellanos each had two hits for the Cubs, who improved to 7-9 against the Reds this year after losing 10-1 on Saturday.
Cincinnati had won five of six to stay on the fringe of the NL wild-card race and was hoping to close the gap in the division by taking the series. Instead, the Reds finished with the same seven-game deficit in the Central that they had when the series started.
Eugenio Suaréz homered for the third straight game and rookie sensation Aristides Aquino had a run-scoring single, but the Reds bullpen faltered after Castillo was pulled in the seventh. He threw 100 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Tony Kemp drove in Happ with a grounder and Heyward singled with two out before Michael Lorenzen (0-3) came in. Castellanos singled to left and Bryant gave Chicago a 5-3 lead when he drove Lorenzen's next pitch deep to left-center for his 23rd homer.
While Cincinnati struggled after Castillo departed, Chicago's banged-up bullpen allowed just two baserunners in the last four innings. Rowan Wick struck out four in two innings to get the ball to Strop.
"The bullpen was outstanding," manager Joe Maddon said. "We had it set up for Wick to face the middle of their order. He was pretty impressive."
Aquino's third-inning single drove in Joey Votto and gave him at least one RBI in each of his last six games. Suaréz's two-out homer in the fifth was his 33rd of the season, one shy of the career-high 34 he hit last season.
Bryant's homer handed a no-decision to Jon Lester, who dropped his previous two starts. The left-hander allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked three in five innings.
Cardinals 11, Pirates 9: Lane Thomas hit a go-ahead grand slam for St. Louis in the seventh inning.
Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler also homered as the Cardinals rallied from an 8-4 deficit to sweep the three-game series and move into second in the NL Central, two games behind the Cubs.
John Gant (8-0) tossed a scoreless seventh for the win. Andrew Miller earned his fourth save in six tries.
Josh Bell had two homers and four RBIs for Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight. Pablo Reyes added a solo shot in the ninth.
Kyle Crick (3-7) got the loss.
Athletics 2, White Sox 0: Chris Bassitt threw seven sharp innings and Matt Olson homered, leading Oakland to the victory.
Bassitt (8-5) permitted four hits, struck out seven and walked two. Liam Hendriks struck out two in the ninth for his 12th save in 17 opportunities.
Chicago right-hander Lucas Giolito (12-6) struck out a career-high 13 in six innings. The All-Star allowed two runs and five hits.
The White Sox had won five of seven.
The A's went 3-3 during their week in Chicago, dropping two of three against the Cubs before splitting their first two on the South Side. Oakland won the season series against the White Sox 5-1.