CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Alfredo Simon leads the National League in wins. Hes still hoping to be added to the All-Star team. Simon became the NLs first 12-game winner and Billy Hamilton added to his sensational series with a tiebreaking triple Wednesday night, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-1 victory over the trade-depleted Chicago Cubs. The Reds won their fifth in a row -- matching their season high -- and moved a season-best seven games over .500. After winning the first four games of the series, theyll try for their first five-game sweep since 1976 on Thursday. Cincinnati moved within 2 1/2 games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central, its smallest deficit since April 7. The Reds were a season-high 8 1/2 out on June 22. Simon (12-3), left off the NL All-Star roster Sunday, became the first Reds pitcher to win a dozen games before the break since Edinson Volquez also went 12-3 in the first half of 2008. The reliever-turner-starter gave up four hits in 6 2-3 innings, including Anthony Rizzos third homer in four games. If another pitcher has to pull out of the All-Star game next week, Simon would be considered. "Im really happy with myself," he said. "I think I have the numbers to be on the All-Star team. I dont know whats going to happen. They told me to stand by." Hamilton tripled home a run and scored during a three-run fifth against Dallas Beeler (0-2), who has lost his first two starts in the majors. Cubs manager Rick Renteria was ejected during the inning for arguing a foul ball call with third base umpire Andy Fletcher. Hamilton is 7 for 15 with three triples, three walks, two steals and seven RBIs during the series. On Tuesday night, his ninth-inning single completed the Reds comeback from a five-run deficit to a 6-5 win and a doubleheader sweep. Hamilton flied out in his last at-bat and left the game because his left hamstring was tight. He expects to miss a few games. "Its been bothering me for the past couple of days," Hamilton said. "I knew something was happening. On the last at-bat, I stepped down and I felt it pull when I started running." Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips also left in the eighth after spraining his left thumb while making a sliding catch. X-rays were negative. He wore a splint on the thumb as he left the clubhouse. Its been a tough week for the Cubs, who have lost all six games -- their deepest slump of the season -- since they dealt starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for a package of prospects. Beeler and several others will get a chance to move up from the minors and fill their spots. The 25-year-old pitcher gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in five innings. Simon has been one of the majors biggest surprises. Moved into the rotation when Mat Latos tore knee cartilage in spring training, the 33-year-old pitcher is having by far the best year of his career, ranking among the league leaders in several categories. The right-hander walked two, matched his season high with eight strikeouts and threw 119 pitches, retiring 13 in a row during one stretch. Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances. The left-hander has fanned at least one batter in each of his last 38 appearances, leaving him one shy of Bruce Sutters record for a reliever since 1900. The Cubs called up second baseman Arismendy Alcantara for a couple of days. The 22-year-old infielder batted second and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Hell return to Triple-A Iowa when second baseman Darwin Barney returns from paternity leave. NOTES: The Reds last sweep of a five-game series came against San Diego in 1976. They havent swept the Cubs in a five-game series since 1931 at Redland Field. ... RHP Kyle Hendricks will make his major league debut on Thursday, facing Cincinnatis Homer Bailey (8-5). The Reds have won 10 of Baileys last 11 starts against the Cubs. ... It was Renterias fifth ejection. ... The Cubs optioned LHP Chris Rusin to Iowa to open a roster spot for Beeler. Gene Garber Jersey . -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are disappointed, though not discouraged. Bob Uecker Braves Jersey . An offseason trade acquisition from Kansas City, Greinkes National League debut was delayed by a non-baseball injury in the spring, and he was 0-1 after dropping an 8-0 decision at Atlanta in his initial appearance with the Brewers on May 4. https://www.cheapbraves.com/2193o-nick-markakis-jersey-braves.html .Y. -- Nothing seems to phase No. Johan Camargo Jersey .C. -- Theyll remember the OT from the first Syracuse-Duke game -- and the Ts that decided Round 2. Braves Jerseys China .C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes used a strong third period to extend their winning streak to three games.GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the Dodgers starting pitchers in their two-game season-opening series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The games will be played March 22-23 at Sydney Cricket Ground. Kershaw will be making his fourth straight season-opening start for Los Angeles. Manager Don Mattingly made the announcement Sunday after weeks of speculation about who woould start in Australia.dddddddddddd Ryu got the start in Game 2 because of an injury to Zack Greinke, who strained his right calf while throwing four pitches in his only spring appearance on Feb. 27 against Arizona. Before getting hurt, Greinke said there was "zero interest" in making the long trip. He is not expected to travel. Greinke was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. ' ' '