The Cincinnati right-hander had a four-run lead when threw a pitch over the head of David DeJesus with one out in the sixth inning Sunday, drawing a warning from plate umpire Bob Davidson.
Chicago rebounded as Alfonso Soriano hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Welington Castillo had a go-ahead double in the 10th. The 5-4 victory stopped a season-high, six-game losing streak.
"That just goes to show, don't wake a sleeping dog," Cubs starter Matt Garza said. "That's immature on his part. ... If he wants to say something to me, he knows where my locker is. If he's got a problem, he can throw at me, and I'll do the same. Hopefully, he grows ... up. I hope he hears this. I really don't care. I don't know if there's anything between him and [DeJesus], but I'll stop it. I don't think you intentionally try to injure somebody. I hope the league looks at it. I don't want him suspended or anything. I hope his players talk to him and show him the way it is."
Cubs manager Dale Sveum thought the high pitch to Cueto was a response to DeJesus taking his time to get in the batter's box.
"[DeJesus] was taking too long to get in the batter's box," Sveum said. "So Cueto was screwing around and threw the ball over his head. He wasn't trying to hit him. I asked the ump why he gave the warning. He said he knew he wasn't tying to hit him but was following the rules. I asked then why not throw him out? I think it woke us up. At least it woke up the bench."
Cueto, who gave up one run and four hits in seven innings, wasn't in the Reds clubhouse after the game, and manager Dusty Baker wasn't asked about it. Baker was more concerned about the unavailability of relievers Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman, who both had pitched two straight days.
"We went as far as we could with Johnny," Baker said. "We had to turn it over to some other guys. They've got a job to do. That's what they get paid to do. This is how they make their money. This one got away. We'll start a new streak tomorrow. We've been playing good ball."
Cincinnati, which had won five straight and 16 of 20, plays the Cubs next in a four-game series at Wrigley Field starting June 10.
Soriano singled in the seventh and scored Chicago's first run off Cueto on Luis Valbuena's two-out single.
Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI double against Logan Ondrusek in the eighth -- his third double in two games -- and Soriano followed with his fifth homer of the season and first since May 13, a 394-foot drive to left-center.
Kevin Gregg (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings, stopping the Reds' five-game winning streak.
Garza, making his second start of the season after coming off the disabled list, allowed four hits and four walks, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter. Cincinnati scored all of its runs in the fourth.
Jay Bruce hit a solo homer, his seventh of the season and sixth in his last 22 games. Ryan Hanigan hit a fly ball to deep straightaway center field with two on, and David DeJesus almost made a spectacular diving catch with his back to the plate. The runners held waiting to see what happened, and Hanigan wound up with a long RBI single.
Zack Cozart added a two-run double.
The Reds drew 41,321 and sold out a series for the first time since July 30-Aug. 1, 2010, against Atlanta. ... The comeback win was Chicago's seventh of the season. The Cubs have lost 16 games in which they led.
Information from ESPNChicago.com contributor Mark Schmetzer was used in this report.