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Wells, Soto Lead Cubs Past Reds 3-1

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Randy Wells took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and pitched into the eighth, as the Chicago Cubs took a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the continuation of a four-game series.

Wells (4-6) gave up one run on five hits and a walk in 7 2/3 frames, and struck out five for the Cubs, who had dropped the first two games of this set. Wells also got his first win since April 30 against Arizona. He was 0-6 with a 5.76 earned-run average in 11 starts since.

Geovany Soto hit a two-run, ground-rule double in the sixth inning, when Chicago scored all its runs.

Jordan Smith (1-1) was responsible for all of Chicago’s runs and took the loss for the Reds, who had won their last three.

It was a duel between Wells and Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto early on, though Wells was more efficient in keeping the Reds off the bases. The right- hander retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced through six innings, allowing only a walk to Paul Janish in the third.

Cueto, meanwhile, gave up seven hits and five walks in five innings, and threw 101 pitches.

It was still a 0-0 game when Smith took over for Cueto in the sixth, and he gave up a one-out single to Tyler Colvin, who stole second. Smith walked Derrek Lee before hitting Marlon Byrd with a pitch to load the bases, and Alfonso Soriano got a run home with a single to left.

After Mike Fontenot popped out, Soto slammed a ball to left that got stuck by the wall, plating two runs for a 3-0 Cubs lead. Nick Masset came in and got the final out, but the three runs were all Chicago needed.

Wells’ no-hit bid was ruined by the first batter of the next inning, as Chris Heisey singled to left. Joey Votto followed with another base hit, but Heisey was thrown out at third, a costly out, as Scott Rolen followed with a double.

That put runners in scoring position for the Reds, but Wells retired the next two batters to escape the jam.

Cincinnati cracked the scoreboard in the eighth, which Laynce Nix began with a double. Nix moved to third on Wells’ throwing error on a pickoff attempt, then scored on a groundout from Orlando Cabrera.

Wells gave up a two-out single to Brandon Phillips before Carlos Marmol came in to get the inning’s final out. Marmol stayed on the mound for the ninth and worked around a one-out walk to Rolen to seal the win and get his 15th save.

Colvin and Byrd each had two hits for the Cubs, who have not scored more than three runs in 11 of their last 12 games…Cincinnati leads the season series, 6-3.