After an emotional series wins against the Cardinals and Dodgers, manager Dusty Baker was asked Monday afternoon if a letdown needed to be prevented against the last-place Cubs.
The Reds may have done a great job recently of beating the good teams, but have not taking care of the teams they’re supposed to beat. In the last month, there have lost series to the Rockies and twice to the Brewers.
Last night they drop the series opener to the last place team in the National League Central. As former Red pitcher Travis Wood, who had a strong night as it took only a pair of solo home runs by the Cubs against Bronson Arroyo to fall 2-0 to the Cubs and snap a four-game winning streak.
The Reds fell to two games behind the idle Cardinals for first place in the NL Central. The second-place Pirates, who entered just percentage points ahead of Cincinnati, won last night defeating Texas 1-0, and are back to one game ahead of the Reds for the first Wild Card spot.
Arroyo allowed a home run to Ryan Sweeney in the second inning to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. In the top of third inning, Luis Valbuena launched a solo home run to right field . The two home runs were the only runs Arroyo (13-11) allowed in seven innings, with seven hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Wood may have dealt seven innings of shutout ball, the Reds still had multiple score some runs against him . They were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.
In the first inning, following back-to-back one-out singles by Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto, Wood struck out Jay Bruce and got Todd Frazier to ground out to third base.
The third inning saw Shin-Soo Choo break a club record by getting hit by a pitch for the 25th time this season with one out. But after a two-out single by Votto, both runners were stranded when Bruce lined out.
Choo doubled to left field in the fifth inning with one out, but that spark was snuffed out as Phillips and Votto both looked at called strike threes.
Each of the last four hits the Reds had in the game were doubles. With one out in the ninth, Zack Cozart doubled with one out to with right-center field. His fourth-inning double extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games.
Cubs Closer Kevin Gregg got Ryan Hanigan to line out and pinch-hitter Xavier Paul to ground out to second base to end the game . This was only the Cubs’ third win over the Reds in the teams’ last 15 games against each other. Tonight’s pitching match up will be Tony Cingrani and Edwin Jackson. First pitch is at 7:10pm.