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Cincinnati at Chicago

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Cincinnati «000400000441
Chi. Cubs000000000050

Arroyo wins fourth straight as Reds stifle Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Bronson Arroyo wasn't thinking about any of it. It didn't matter that the Cincinnati Reds' playoff hopes are just about gone, that the flow of runs had been reduced to a trickle.

His curve was at its best, David Ross hit a three-run homer and the slumping Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 4-0 Friday despite managing just four hits.

"I just know that some teams have to lose some ballgames and all we can worry about is trying to win every game," Arroyo said.

Rich Aurilia's RBI single and Ross' shot off Carlos Marmol (5-7) during a four-run fourth were enough to give the Reds their sixth victory in 19 games.

Arroyo (14-9) won his fourth straight start, allowing four hits while striking out seven and walking three. It was the second scoreless outing in three starts for Arroyo, who threw the first shutout of his career against San Francisco on Sept 5.

Scott Schoeneweis pitched the ninth to finish the combined five-hitter.

It was small consolation for a Cincinnati team that saw its playoff hopes all but evaporate this week by losing two of three to wild-card leader San Diego. The Reds closed within 3½ games of the Padres.

It's been a long fall from where Cincinnati was after beating San Francisco on Aug. 24: less than a percentage point behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead and 1½ games ahead in the wild card.

"It's definitely an uphill battle," Aurilia said. "It's not like we're 4½ back behind one team; we're 4½ behind four (for the wild card). It's hard enough to catch one.

The Cubs' misery continued.

Wrecked by injuries, they were scrambling again when starter Juan Mateo left with tightness in the middle of his back after three hitless innings. He struck out three, walked two before being lifted for a pinch-hitter leading off the third.

It was the second time in four starts Mateo left with an injury. He took a line drive to the forearm by Pittsburgh's Jose Bautista on Aug. 30.

Mateo said through an interpreter that his back was bothering him in the bullpen before the game and it got worse. He said it's not serious, but was not sure if he'll make his next start.

"When I was throwing the ball, it was like pulling my back in. It kept hurting," he said.

Marmol came on to pitch in the fourth and got hit hard for the second straight day.

After allowing three runs in one-third of an inning in Thursday's 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marmol allowed four in his lone inning.

"You hate that early exit because you try to use everybody, but not overuse anybody for ensuing days," said manager Dusty Baker, who used four relievers.

Marmol walked the first two batters on nine pitches before Aurilia singled to left to drive in Norris Hopper with the game's first run. With one out, Ross sent a drive into the left-field seats for his 19th homer and a 4-0 lead.

"Our bullpen did a good job, except for a couple untimely walks, a base hit and a three-run homer," Baker said.

The offense did little, though.

The Cubs just kept lunging and looking at breaking balls, unable to mount a threat against Arroyo.

"He pitches backward," said Aramis Ramirez, who doubled. "When he's behind, he throws the breaking ball."

Acquired in a trade with Boston in late March, Arroyo went 9-3 in his first 15 starts before going 1-6 in his next 13. But in his last four outings, he has allowed four runs in 32 innings and lowered his ERA from 3.52 to 3.17.

"This game's funny," Arroyo said. "You saw the streak I went through in the middle of the year. Good, bad or ugly, I wasn't getting any wins. ... I started off really hot. I'm hot right now. I'm not doing anything special."

Notes

  • Cubs 1B Derrek Lee missed the game to tend to a family emergency, leaving his status for Saturday's game in doubt.
  • Although he's nursing a tight back, RHP Carlos Zambrano wants to start Sunday and Cubs manager Dusty Baker did not rule out. "I'm pitching on Sunday," Zambrano told reporters after the game, before walking away. "I'll see you Sunday, but I'll see you (Saturday) first."
  • LHP Chris Michalak will start Saturday for the Reds against Rich Hill. He is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA in five appearances and three starts.
  • Cincinnati held Ken Griffey Jr. out of the lineup for the ninth straight game with a dislocated second toe on his right foot.
 
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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While David Ross enjoys picking out cloud formations, this time he's watching his 19th HR in flight.  (AP)
While David Ross enjoys picking out cloud formations, this time he's watching his 19th HR in flight. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

B. Arroyo
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 3
K 7
Cincinnati

D. Ross
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF3000111 .274
Norris Hopper, RF3110101 .313
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3100112 .295
Rich Aurilia, 3B4111021 .305
Adam Dunn, LF4000022 .238
    Scott Schoeneweis, P0000000 .000
David Ross, C4123020 .267
Royce Clayton, SS3000111 .258
Brandon Phillips, 2B2000121 .284
Bronson Arroyo, P3000021 .120
    Dewayne Wise, LF0000000 .222
Totals2944451310 
Batting
2B - Norris Hopper (1, Walrond)
HR - David Ross (19, Marmol)
RBI - Rich Aurilia (63), David Ross 3 (49)
CS - Norris Hopper (1, 2nd base by Mateo/Blanco), Royce Clayton (6, 2nd base by Marmol/Blanco)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - B. Phillips-Clayton-Hatteberg, B. Phillips-Clayton-Hatteberg
E - Royce Clayton (16, )
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo (W,14-9) 8400370 3.17
Scott Schoeneweis 1100010 5.14
WP - Bronson Arroyo 2 (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 119-80, Scott Schoeneweis 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-9, Scott Schoeneweis 1-0
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 30, Scott Schoeneweis 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4020000 .290
Ronny Cedeno, 2B4010013 .246
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3010101 .286
Jacque Jones, RF3010101 .283
Matt Murton, LF3000103 .296
Scott Moore, 1B3000022 .231
   a- Angel Pagan, PH1000010 .263
Cesar Izturis, SS3000002 .245
Henry Blanco, C3000010 .262
Juan Mateo, P0000000 .000
   b- Buck Coats, PH1000010 .111
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .261
    Jae-Kuk Ryu, P0000000 .000
   c- Jose Reyes, PH1000010 .000
    Les Walrond, P0000000 .000
   d- Freddie Bynum, PH1000010 .256
    David Aardsma, P0000000 .000
Totals300503812 
a-struck out for Moore in the 9th
b-struck out for Mateo in the 3rd
c-struck out for Ryu in the 5th
d-struck out for Walrond in the 8th
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (34, Arroyo)
CS - Ronny Cedeno (8, 2nd base by Arroyo/Ross)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Blanco-Cedeno
Chicago Cubs
Juan Mateo 3000230 4.38
Carlos Marmol (L,5-7) 1244311 6.08
Jae-Kuk Ryu 1000020 6.97
Les Walrond 3100050 7.59
David Aardsma 1100020 3.99
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Mateo 44-24, Carlos Marmol 25-10, Jae-Kuk Ryu 14-9, Les Walrond 34-24, David Aardsma 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Mateo 2-3, Les Walrond 2-2
Batters Faced - Juan Mateo 10, Carlos Marmol 7, Jae-Kuk Ryu 3, Les Walrond 10, David Aardsma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37188
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Chad Fairchild