Recap Chicago at Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Anthony Rizzo and Arismendy Alcantara both homered as the Chicago Cubs shut out the Cincinnati Reds, 3-0, in the opener of a three-game set on Tuesday.
The two home runs provided the Cubs with all they needed to back a solid outing from Travis Wood (8-11), who snapped a string of six straight losses. Wood gave up just two hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings.
"That was nice. Command was good and I was able to keep the ball down," said Wood. "I pitched effectively in the zone."
Starlin Castro finished 2-for-4 for Chicago, which has won four straight games and has homered in a season-high 10 consecutive contests.
Starter Johnny Cueto (15-8), who entered the game with five straight winning decisions over the Cubs, was looking to become the first 16-game winner in the majors. The right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings in defeat.
Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart and Skip Schumaker each had a hit for the Reds, who have lost eight of their last 10 games.
In the first, Rizzo crushed a 2-1 fastball to right center field with two outs for his 30th homer of the season and an early Cubs lead. Castro followed with a single to center, but the game went into a 50-minute rain delay.
"I was pretty upset because it was raining and the baseball was slippery," Cueto said.
Both pitchers were strong coming out of the break. Cueto retired 10 straight batters and Wood allowed just three baserunners through six innings.
The Cubs made it a 3-0 game in the seventh. Matt Szczur opened the frame with a base hit to right and Alcantara followed by belting a 1-0 offering into the right-field seats.
Two batters later, Wood singled and Coghlan walked to end Cueto's outing. Sam LeCure entered the game and retired the next two batters to limit the damage.
Neil Ramirez struck out the side in the seventh for Chicago, Pedro Strop worked a scoreless eighth and Hector Rondon closed the door in the ninth to earn his 22nd save of the season. The Chicago bullpen extended its scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings.