It's never wise to attach too much importance to any game in April, but Sunday's was one the Reds really needed to win for two reasons.

They needed it to win the series. And they needed Homer Bailey to get it turned around.

Done and done.

The Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 8-2 before a crowd of 27,927 on a gorgeous Easter afternoon at Wrigley Field to take their second straight series.

Bailey, 1-1, was excellent. He went six shutout innings and allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked three. It was the first time he's pitched beyond the fifth this season. Most importantly, he held the lead once the Reds got it for him. He was unable to do that in any of his previous three starts.

Bailey improved to 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA in nine starts at Wrigley. The Reds continue to own the Cubs in Chicago. The Reds have won 17 of 19 in the North Side.

The Reds built a 5-0 lead with five, two-out RBI hits. They broke it open with home runs from Jay Bruce (solo) and Zack Cozart (two-run) in the seventh. The fourth through eighth hitters in the starting lineup went 11-for-23 with seven RBI.

Bailey's only real trouble came in the third. He walked Emilio Bonifacio with one out. With Ryan Sweeney at the plate, Bonifacio stole second. The Reds had it reviewed on replay. It was overturned.

That proved large because Bailey ended up hitting Sweeney with a pitch and walking Anthony Rizzo. So it was first and second, two outs, instead of bases loaded, one out. Bailey struck out Starlin Castro to end the threat.

The Reds had one hit through three off right-hander Carlos Villanueva.

Todd Frazier singled with one out in the fourth. An out later, Devin Mesoraco smoked one into the left field corner for a double. Frazier scored easily from first. The hit extended Mesoraco's hitting streak to a career-high nine games. He's hit in every game he's played. It was Mesoraco's sixth double and 11th RBI during the streak.