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Cincinnati at Chicago

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Cincinnati000000000022
Chi. Cubs «10011001x4100

Hill holds Reds to two hits, Cincy falls further in wild-card race

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- After a rough start in the majors, Rich Hill is now dominating big league hitters.

Hill pitched a two-hitter for his first major league shutout and Jacque Jones homered, leading the Chicago Cubs over the fading Cincinnati Reds 4-0 Saturday.

Hill (6-6) struck out 10, fanning Edwin Encarnacion to end the Cubs' first complete game of the season.

Hill became the first rookie to pitch a shutout for the Cubs since Kyle Farnsworth did it on Aug. 29, 1999, at Los Angeles.

After starting this season 0-4, Hill was demoted to Triple-A Iowa.

"You go through a learning curve and it just depends on when you go through your ups and downs. Before it was a lot of downs and I learned a lot. I went down to Triple-A, I got it together and came back and now I'm throwing the ball with a lot more conviction and confidence," said Hill.

Hill was 7-1 for Triple-A Iowa this season with a 1.80 ERA.

"He didn't go down there and pout or anything, he went down there and pitched, which is what you want everyone to do," said Cubs manager Dusty Baker.

Hill walked one and hit a batter in his first career complete game and third straight win. The 26-year-old lefty has allowed just four earned runs in his last five starts for an 0.97 ERA.

Sergio Mitre pitched the last shutout for the Cubs on June 14, 2005, against Florida. Greg Maddux threw the Cubs' previous complete game last Sept. 27.

"Boy, it's been a long time since we've had a complete game and a shutout," said Baker.

Cincinnati lost for the 14th time in 20 games since moving into a virtual tie with St. Louis for the NL Central lead on Aug. 24. The Reds began the day 3½ games behind San Diego in the wild-card race.

"You play all season to come down to this last month and be in the race and we are. We're playing ourselves out of it right now but we're still in it. This team, if it gets hot, we could be all right. Even though there's only 16 or 17 games left," catcher David Ross said.

The Reds have not won consecutive road games since beating Philadelphia Aug. 12-13.

Chris Michalak (1-3) pitched 4 2/3 innings in a spot start and allowed two earned runs and seven hits.

Aramis Ramirez drove in two runs. The Cubs won for just the seventh time in 27 games and have the worst record in the league.

Juan Pierre led off the Cubs first with a single and easily scored on Ramirez's double. A throwing error by shortstop Royce Clayton in the fourth set up Geovany Soto's RBI grounder.

Ryan Theriot walked and stole second in the fifth. Ramirez followed with a single up the middle for a 3-0 lead.

Reds manager Jerry Narron was pleased with Michalak's outing.

"He was fine. He worked out of a jam. They had the bases loaded with no outs and he got out of it. Which was great. He did everything he could. There were a couple of plays we didn't help him with that hurt. He pitched well," said Narron.

Jones homered off Reds reliever Bill Bray in eighth inning. It was his 25th of the season.

Notes

  • RHP Carlos Zambrano will start for the Cubs on Sunday. He missed his last two starts because of a sore back.
  • Cubs 1B Derrek Lee missed his second straight game to tend to a family emergency, leaving his status for Sunday's game in doubt.
  • Reds hitting coach Chris Chambliss was suspended for Saturday's game for leaving the dugout after being ejected on Thursday night in a 4-2 loss to San Diego.
  • Reds star Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup for the 10th straight game with a dislocated second toe on his right foot.
  • Clayton left the game after getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning.
 
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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Rich Hill continues his recent hot streak, as he turns in a masterful 118-pitch effort for the win.  (AP)
Rich Hill continues his recent hot streak, as he turns in a masterful 118-pitch effort for the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

R. Hill
IP 9.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 10
Chicago

J. Jones
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, CF3000122 .272
Norris Hopper, RF4010000 .300
Rich Aurilia, 1B4000012 .302
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4000020 .289
Adam Dunn, LF3000010 .237
David Ross, C3000020 .264
Royce Clayton, SS2000000 .257
    Ray Olmedo, PR0000000 .238
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
Brandon Phillips, 2B3010000 .284
Chris Michalak, P1000011 .333
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Denorfia, PH1000000 .213
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Brian Shackelford, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   b- Juan Castro, PH-SS1000011 .245
Totals290201106 
a-fouled out for Belisle in the 6th
b-struck out for Franklin in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (27, Hill)
SB - Ryan Freel (37, 2nd base off Hill/Soto), Brandon Phillips (25, 3rd base off Hill/Soto)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Michalak-Ross-Aurilia, Encarnacion-B. Phillips-Aurilia
E - Royce Clayton (17, ), Edwin Encarnacion (24, )
Cincinnati Reds
Chris Michalak (L,1-3) 4.2732110 4.88
Matt Belisle 0.1000000 4.60
Gary Majewski 0.2100010 4.68
Brian Shackelford 0.1000000 7.47
Ryan Franklin 1000020 4.81
Bill Bray 1211021 4.13
HBP - Jones (by Chris Michalak)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Michalak 69-46, Matt Belisle 4-2, Gary Majewski 14-10, Brian Shackelford 2-2, Ryan Franklin 9-8, Bill Bray 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Michalak 11-2, Gary Majewski 1-0, Brian Shackelford 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Michalak 23, Matt Belisle 1, Gary Majewski 3, Brian Shackelford 1, Ryan Franklin 3, Bill Bray 5
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4110002 .290
Ryan Theriot, 2B3100111 .300
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4022001 .287
Matt Murton, LF4010011 .296
Jacque Jones, RF3211001 .284
Henry Blanco, 1B4010012 .262
Ronny Cedeno, SS4020000 .248
Geovany Soto, C4021001 .231
Rich Hill, P4000036 .115
Totals3441041615 
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (35, Michalak), Matt Murton (19, Michalak), Geovany Soto (1, Majewski)
HR - Jacque Jones (25, Bray)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez 2 (102), Jacque Jones (73), Geovany Soto (2)
SB - Ryan Theriot (9, 2nd base off Michalak/Ross)
Team LOB - 8
Chicago Cubs
Rich Hill (W,6-6) 92001100 4.12
HBP - Clayton (by Rich Hill)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Hill 118-85
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Hill 8-9
Batters Faced - Rich Hill 31
Game Information
Attendance - 40526
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Wally Bell