Javy Baez led the way offensively Tuesday night and Alec Mills went six solid innings for an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds that fit Chicago's early pattern.
Chicago has won four of its first five games, scoring first in each one. Jason Kipnis' triple - Shogo Akiyama lost it in the sun - sparked the offense. Baez took it from there, emerging from a slow start that included only a pair of singles in the first four games.
Mills (1-0) added to Chicago's stretch of impressive starts. Mills, who made four spot starts last season, held the Reds to two hits in six innings. Chicago's starters have a 1.80 ERA and a .131 opponent batting average this season.
The Reds got two-run homers by Nick Castellanos - his first since signing a $64 million deal - and Freddy Galvis but fell to 1-4, tied for the worst start in the majors.
Baez had a solo shot and a two-run homer as the Cubs pulled away, loudly cheering each hit and celebrating each run in the dugout.
Kipnis tripled in the third off Tyler Mahle - Akiyama lost sight of the ball in center field - and scored on Nico Hoerner's single. Kipnis added an RBI single an inning later.
Akiyama was in center field for Nick Senzel, who missed his third game because of sickness. The Reds had no update on his condition Tuesday. Senzel remains on the active roster.
Matt Davidson went on the injured list Saturday after testing for the coronavirus. Senzel and Mike Moustakas felt sick a day later, and the Reds put Moustakas on the injured list.
Castellanos said after the game that Senzel and Moustakas had negative COVID-19 tests and could return for the final game of the series.
Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez extended his season-opening slump to 0 for 16 with a strikeout in the sixth and snapped his bat over his right thigh on his way back to the dugout. He doubled his next time up.
Rizzo singled in his final at-bat. He's reached base safely in each of his last 11 games at Great American Ball Park.
Kris Bryant got a day out of the starting lineup because of a sore left elbow. Ross said the injury isn't serious.
Kyle Hendricks (1-0) threw a three-hit shutout against the Brewers, becoming the first Cub since 1974 with a shutout in a season opener. He's 6-3 in 17 career starts against the Reds with a 3.84 ERA.
Sonny Gray (1-0) tries to extend his major league record streak of 34 consecutive starts without allowing more than six hits. He's 3-1 in five career starts against the Cubs with a 2.70 ERA.