Cubs End Skid At Eight, Take Finale In Cincinnati

Ramirez and Pena go back-to-back as Cubs avoid sweep.

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Dempster, Cubs Avoid Sweep in Cincinnati

The odds seemed to be against the Cubs prior to Wednesday’s series finale in Cincinnati. They lost eight games in a row, opposing pitcher Bronson Arroyo has owned them recently, and the Reds were 16-3 in their last 19 games against the Cubs.

To make matters worse, before the game even started their seemed to be some doubt to the availability of starter Ryan Dempster. During warmups something happened to Dempster that required a visit to the bullpen from trainer Ed Halbur and manager Mike Quade. Whatever the issue was, didn’t prevent Dempster from starting which turned out to be great for the Cubs.

Thanks to back-to-back homers by Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena and a fantastic outing by Dempster and the bullpen, the Cubs won the series finale and ended their losing streak at eight games.

Dempster (5-5) came through with his best start of the season. The Cubs (24-36) ace went six innings and allowed one run on just three hits. He also struck out eight and walked just one. Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, and Carlos Marmol each pitched a perfect inning to secure the win. For Marmol it was his 11th save of the season.

Bronson Arroyo pitched ok for the Reds (32-31). Arroyo (4-6) went six and a third and allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits. This was Arroyo’s only second loss in his last eight starts against the Cubs.

With Wednesday’s victory the Cubs are now 1-5 on their current ten game trip. Things won’t get any easier as they now head to Philadelphia for a four game series.


Cubs Look To Avoid Longest Losing Streak Since 2002

The Cubs come in to Wednesday's series finale in Cincinnati looking to end multiple skids. A loss Wednesday would be their ninth in a row and  their third time being swept in a row. This would also be the first time the Cubs have been swept in a three game series in Cincinnati in 15 years.  

Ryan Dempster will take the mound for the Cubs (23-36) in Wednesday's series finale. Dempster hasn't exactly pitched like the ace he was expected to be this season. The right hander comes in with a 4-5 record and an ERA of 6.32. Dempster has the second-highest ERA in the Majors this season. One thing going for Dempster is that he has had success against Reds star Joey Votto. Votto does have two home runs against Dempster, but is only hitting .167 in 18 career at-bats.

Cincinnati (32-30)  will give the ball to Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo isn't having a great season with a record of 4-5 and an ERA of 5.37. Don't tell that to the Cubs though. In his last seven starts against the Cubs, Arroyo is 4-1 with an ERA of 1.32.

The forecast at the time of first pitch in Wednesday's series finale is temps near 90 degrees under sunny skies. First pitch is scheduled for 11:35 CST. The game can be seen on CSN.

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