After spending six innings flailing at pitches out of the strike zone Friday, the Reds started watching them go by. Six walks later -- as well as three two-out hits, an error and a run-scoring passed ball -- Cincinnati had a nine-run seventh inning during a 12-0 rout.
Dempster (6-7) had allowed only two hits, including Phillips' solo homer, while striking out seven through six dominant innings. He then opened the seventh by walking Jonny Gomes and Jay Bruce. Ramon Hernandez grounded to Mike Fontenot but the second baseman dropped the ball for an error, and after Drew Stubbs struck out, Bronson Arroyo walked on four pitches to score a run.
Brian Schlitter relieved and walked Phillips to make it 3-0. One out later, Hernandez scored on Koyie Hill's passed ball. Joey Votto walked to load the bases again, Scott Rolen singled home two runs and Gomes doubled in two more. Bruce walked and Bob Howry gave up Hernandez's double for a 10-0 lead.
When Stubbs flied out to end the inning, many in the crowd of 40,361 cheered derisively.
"That shows how fast an inning can get away," Dempster said. "I throw four pitches in a row to the pitcher that don't hit the strike zone ... and the doors fall off."
It was Cincinnati's biggest inning in five years and the most runs in an inning against the Cubs in four seasons. Gomes and Bruce became the first Reds to score two runs in an inning since 2004.
While the Reds have used a 9-2 surge to move 11 games over .500 for the first time since June 9, 2006, Chicago has fallen to 34-46 and 11½ games behind division-leading Cincinnati.
The Cubs have lost 10 of their last 14 games, five by shutout, and are 10-20 since May 30. The team with the league's highest payroll has scored six runs while going 1-4 on its homestand.
"Two hits again. You're not going to win too many games with two hits," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Look, we lost, what, 12-nothing? It could have been 2-nothing or 3-nothing, but it's still nothing."
Arroyo (8-4) allowed two hits and two walks, striking out three, in six sharp innings. Dusty Baker planned to send him out for another inning but the Reds batted for such a long time that the manager turned to Logan Ondrusek, who retired six straight.
Micah Owings struck out the side in the ninth to wrap up the Reds' fifth shutout this year and fifth consecutive road victory.
"My changeup was good today. I got a lot of groundballs when I needed them," Arroyo said. "Luckily, we got a chance to break it open and give me kind of a rest."
The right-hander has progressed nicely this season, following a 6.37 ERA in April with marks of 3.89 in May and 3.60 in June before pitching superbly in his first July outing.
He allowed Marlon Byrd's second-inning single off shortstop Orlando Cabrera's glove and then walked Kosuke Fukudome. Arroyo retired the next 13 batters before Fontenot singled with two outs in the sixth. After walking Derrek Lee, Arroyo preserved his 1-0 lead by getting Aramis Ramirez to ground out as fans booed.
Then came the seventh, which included the four-pitch walk that gave Arroyo his seventh RBI this season.
"With Dempster on the mound ... I thought maybe we'd put a couple more on the board," he said. "But I didn't think it was going to explode like that."
Votto added a two-run homer, his 19th, in the eighth. He has reached base in 40 consecutive games, the longest streak in the majors this season and Cincinnati's longest since Pete Rose reached in 48 straight in 1978.
The Reds came into the game leading the league in batting, runs, hits, total bases, RBI and slugging. They are 6-2 against the Cubs, who are trying hard to keep the faith.
"A little adversity never hurt anybody," Hill said. "We've got a strong bunch of hearts."Notes
- At 19-16, Cincinnati is one of only two NL teams with a winning road record. San Diego is 22-14.
- During his streak, Votto is batting .327 with 11 HRs, 33 RBI, 24 walks and four hit-by-pitches.
- Dempster has made the second-most starts, 243, of any Canadian-born major league pitcher. Fergie Jenkins ranks first with 594.
- Piniella said he will rotate Fontenot, Ryan Theriot and Jeff Baker at 2B until somebody starts producing.