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Reds' Claussen, Griffey too much for Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- The Cincinnati Reds showed off their power against the slumping Chicago Cubs.

Ken Griffey Jr. hit a three-run homer, Adam Dunn had a two-run drive and Austin Kearns added a solo shot, leading the Reds to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs, who have lost six straight games.

Javier Valentin drove in three runs, including two with a bases-loaded double, as the Reds staked Brandon Claussen (7-8) to a 9-0 lead.

"We got some big hits from Dunn and Griffey," Reds interim manager Jerry Narron said. "Griff's big three-run homer was huge for us at the time of the ballgame. ... I like the way we played."

Griffey's homer, his 24th, capped a four-run rally in the sixth. It was his 18th in 61 games since May 25. He also doubled.

Dunn's shot in the third was his 33rd and tied him for second in the NL with Chicago's Derrek Lee. It was Dunn's 10th homer in 24 games since the All-Star break. He went 2-for-5 and has 27 hits in his last 83 at-bats.

Claussen pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only a double to Todd Walker and a single to Matt Murton while striking out three and walking five. He didn't give up a hit after the second.

"Hey man, a 9-spot," Claussen said his offensive support. "That's like getting 5-under par on the back nine rolling up 18. The only thing I was disappointed with is that I did walk some guys."

The left-hander has won his last three starts after dropping four straight decisions.

"He's had some tough luck against these guys, so it's good to see him come out and pitch the way he did," Kearns said. "Any time you can do that here against a lineup that can hit the ball out of the ballpark like them, that's impressive."

Brian Shackelford pitched a scoreless eighth before the Cubs scored four runs in the ninth off Randy Keisler.

The Cubs fell to 27-27 at Wrigley Field and are 6½ games behind Houston in the NL wild-card race. At 54-58, Chicago is in fourth place in the NL Central, four games ahead of fifth-place Cincinnati.

"We're just in a funk and we can't seem to find a way out of it," said Walker, who had three of Chicago's nine hits. "The last inning, we bust out of it and hopefully that will carry over."

Chicago starter Jerome Williams (3-5) allowed seven runs on seven hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 0-3 in three starts at Wrigley Field since being acquired from San Francisco on May 28.

Cubs starters have posted only two wins since July 19, a span of 19 games.

"We couldn't get the ball down today," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "The ball was up and the location wasn't where he wanted it. Power hitters -- when you get the ball up and over the heart of the plate, you're going to get hurt."

Glendon Rusch relieved Williams with one out in the sixth and was charged with one run in 1 2/3 innings. Kerry Wood pitched a perfect eighth.

Valentin's bases-loaded double in the second gave Cincinnati a 2-0 lead. Dunn's homer, a line shot to right-center in the third, extended the lead to 4-0.

Kearns led off the sixth with his homer, and Griffey connected with two outs in the inning to make it 8-0.

Valentin drove in Cincinnati's final run with a groundout in the seventh.

Jeromy Burnitz, Matt Lawton and Walker had RBI singles in the ninth for Chicago.

Notes

  • While the middle of the Reds' lineup is hitting, the top isn't. Ryan Freel and Felipe Lopez, the Reds' leadoff and No. 2 hitters, are hitless in their last 41 at-bats combined. On Monday, Lopez was in the leadoff spot and went 0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Freel batted second and was 0-for-5.
  • Cubs SS Nomar Garciaparra played his first game at Wrigley Field since April 13. He tore a groin muscle in St. Louis on April 20 and returned from the DL last Friday in New York.
  • The Cubs' longest losing streak this season is eight games.
  • Monday was the 17th anniversary of the Cubs' first night game, on Aug. 8, 1988. That game started, but was rained out.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Reds starter Brandon Claussen wins his third straight after dropping four consecutive decisions.  (AP)
Reds starter Brandon Claussen wins his third straight after dropping four consecutive decisions. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

K. Griffey
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Cincinnati

J. Valentin
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Cincinnati Reds
Felipe Lopez, SS3100200 .279
Ryan Freel, 2B5000015 .284
Ken Griffey Jr., CF5223020 .283
Adam Dunn, LF5222010 .258
Sean Casey, 1B4220000 .312
Rich Aurilia, 3B5010004 .264
Austin Kearns, RF2111101 .236
Javier Valentin, C3013101 .288
Brandon Claussen, P4100024 .029
    Brian Shackelford, P0000000 .000
    Randy Keisler, P0000000 .429
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
Totals369994615 
Batting
2B - Ken Griffey Jr. (27, Williams), Sean Casey 2 (26, Williams, Rusch), Javier Valentin (9, Williams)
HR - Ken Griffey Jr. (24, Rusch), Adam Dunn (33, Williams), Austin Kearns (8, Williams)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 3 (75), Adam Dunn 2 (80), Austin Kearns (34), Javier Valentin 3 (35)
2-OUT RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. 3 (32)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - F. Lopez-Freel-Casey
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Claussen (W,7-8) 7200530 4.53
Brian Shackelford 1100010 1.20
Randy Keisler 0.2544000 6.37
Todd Coffey 0.1100000 4.95
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Claussen 106-66, Brian Shackelford 13-9, Randy Keisler 24-14, Todd Coffey 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Claussen 8-9, Randy Keisler 1-1, Todd Coffey 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Claussen 27, Brian Shackelford 4, Randy Keisler 7, Todd Coffey 2
Chicago Cubs
Matt Lawton, RF5111011 .267
Todd Walker, 2B5031001 .297
Derrek Lee, 1B4010102 .349
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000103 .304
Nomar Garciaparra, SS4110003 .177
Michael Barrett, C2110211 .276
Jeromy Burnitz, CF4011012 .263
Matt Murton, LF3111100 .400
Jerome Williams, P1000011 .067
    Glendon Rusch, P0000000 .130
   a- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000000 .259
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .111
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
   b- Neifi Perez, PH1000001 .265
Totals344945415 
a-flied out for Rusch in the 7th
b-popped out for Ohman in the 9th
Batting
2B - Todd Walker (18, Claussen)
SH - Jerome Williams (5)
RBI - Matt Lawton (45), Todd Walker (27), Jeromy Burnitz (56), Matt Murton (3)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Lawton (21), Todd Walker (14)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago Cubs
Jerome Williams (L,3-5) 5.1777322 5.18
Glendon Rusch 1.2222121 3.98
Kerry Wood 1000010 4.50
Will Ohman 1000010 2.60
IBB - Kearns by Glendon Rusch
HBP - Kearns (by Jerome Williams), Casey (by Jerome Williams)
Pitches-Strikes - Jerome Williams 84-52, Glendon Rusch 26-13, Kerry Wood 13-8, Will Ohman 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jerome Williams 5-9, Glendon Rusch 1-2, Will Ohman 1-1
Batters Faced - Jerome Williams 28, Glendon Rusch 8, Kerry Wood 3, Will Ohman 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39965
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Terry Craft