CHICAGO -- It was not a night for the timid with summer conditions and winds howling out of Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Lackey was exaggerating, but the 87-degree first pitch temperatures and 20 mile per hour winds out of the southwest were a challenge.
Still, the windy conditions also gave Lackey a lift as the Cubs hit four home runs en route to a 9-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to open a three-game series.
"On a day like today, sometimes it is who can get the most balls up in the air," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Kyle Schwarber went 2-for-5, including a 462-foot home run, to pace a 13-hit attack as Chicago (19-19) snapped a two-game losing streak.
"It was huge for the offense to show up and really get their feet on the ground," Lackey said. "We had some big home runs in our direction and you definitely need some help on a day like this."
The victory was the 1,000th in Joe Maddon's managerial career.
Lackey (4-3) earned his third win in his last four starts after pitching 5 1/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He allowed three runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking a pair.
Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (3-3) pitched five innings and allowed five runs, eight hits, two walks and struck out one while giving up two home runs.
Jose Peraza, Billy Hamilton, Zack Cozart and Joey Votto each had two hits for the Reds (19-19). Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Jeimer Candelario also had two hits apiece for Chicago.
Cozart gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the first, sending Lackey's first pitch to left for his third home run, a solo shot.
The Cubs then loaded the bases with one out in the last of the first for Candelario, who lined a single to left to bring home Bryant for a 1-1 tie.
Contreras' two-out double into the center-field ivy then drove in Rizzo and Ian Happ for a 3-1 lead.
Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart got a run back with two out in the second, lofting a fly into to center for a solo home run, his first of the year.
Schwarber made it 4-2 with one out in the second. He sent Arroyo's 1-0 pitch into the right-field bleachers for his sixth homer and first since May 5.
The Reds closed the gap to 4-3 in the fourth as Peraza doubled with one out, reached third on Barnhart's hit-and-run and came home after Arroyo struck out to apparently end the inning but the ball got away from Contreras.
Happ made it 5-3 with one out in the fifth, sending Arroyo's 0-1 pitch to left for his second career home run.
The Cubs opened a 6-3 lead in the sixth as Bryant doubled home pinch runner Tommy La Stella. Reds reliever Blake Wood then loaded the bases and walked Happ to bring home Schwarber for a 7-3 advantage.
That was it for Wood. He was replaced by right-hander Robert Stephenson, who got Candelario to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Votto slugged a two-run homer off Cubs reliever Koji Uehara in the seventh. His 11th homer of the season scored Hamilton and narrowed the deficit to 7-5.
But Addison Russell slammed the Cubs' third homer of the night to lead off the seventh for an 8-5 lead. Rizzo made it 9-5 in the eighth with his seventh of the season.
"We cut it to two on Joey's homer and then they come back and extend the lead in each of the next two innings," Price said. "That was probably the biggest thing. We just couldn't contain them at any point in that ballgame."
NOTES: Cubs manager Joe Maddon became the eighth active manager to reach 1,000 victories. He previously managed the Angels (interim 1996, 1999) and Rays (2006-14) before coming to the Cubs in 2015. ... The Reds have not had much success against the Cubs in recent games, losing 21 of the last 26 meetings and seven of the last eight series. ... Cincinnati has used 19 pitchers this year, tied for third-most in the majors, and is on track to hit last year's club record of 32. ... The Reds sent Scott Feldman (2-3, 3.59 ERA) against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.40) in Wednesday's middle game. Feldman spent part of 2013 with the Cubs. ... On Thursday, the Cubs will mark the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game at Wrigley Field, the only remaining ballpark in which he played. Robinson's granddaughter, Meta, will help raise a new commemorative flag on the right-field foul pole. ... The temperature at first pitch was 87 degrees -- 44 degrees warmer than the Cubs' last home game May 7 against the Yankees.