Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Jay Bruce was one of four Reds with two runs driven in, going 3-for-4 in Cincinnati’s 11-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs to help complete a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field.
Joey Votto added a two-run blast, his 28th of the season, while Ryan Hanigan and Juan Francisco also had two RBI each for the Reds, who have won four in a row and seven of eight during their run to the top of the NL Central standings.
Travis Wood (3-1) lost a no-hit bid in the sixth and finished with four runs allowed — three earned — on four hits and two walks in 6 1/3 frames.
Jeff Baker homered for the Cubs, losers in 10 of 11. Thomas Diamond (0-2), making his second career start, was reached for five runs, four hits and three walks in just three innings to take the loss.
The Reds’ offense scored in four of the first five innings to open up a seven- run lead.
Chris Heisey was hit by a pitch to start the game, but was retired on Miguel Cairo’s fielder’s choice. Votto followed with another fielder’s choice groundout and moved to second on an error, and Jonny Gomes walked. Bruce scored both runners with a double down the right field line.
Heisey’s sacrifice fly in the second made it a 3-0 game, and Cincinnati tacked on two more runs in the third.
Two walks and a single quickly loaded the bases with nobody out, and Francisco scored Votto on a fielder’s choice groundout. Hanigan’s sacrifice fly followed with a 5-0 margin.
In the fifth, the Reds scored two more in what was a carbon copy of the third. The bases were loaded with nobody out after a double and two walks, and Francisco plated Votto with a fielder’s choice groundout. Hanigan hit another sacrifice fly to increase the lead to seven.
Cincinnati kept piling on runs with Paul Janish’s RBI single in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Wood was both dominant and efficient early on. He retired the first six Cubs batters with just 14 pitches and induced a double play groundout after walking Xavier Nady to begin the third.
He didn’t allow a hit until Koyie Hill’s one-out single in the sixth and extended the shutout bid until the seventh, when Baker led off with his fourth home run of the season.
Chicago, though, used the momentum of Baker’s blast to climb back into the game. Derrek Lee walked and moved to third on an Aramis Ramirez double. Marlon Byrd sent a ground ball to Francisco at third, but he sailed the throw into the crowd behind first base, allowing two runs to score and Byrd to move to second.
Nady hit a RBI ground-rule double two batters later for an 8-4 contest before Bill Bray came on from the bullpen and limited the damage.
Votto quickly put an end to Chicago’s comeback hopes, slamming a two-run homer in the eighth to put Cincinnati in front by a score of 10-4.
Cairo’s RBI triple in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
The Reds have dominated the season series, 10-3. Cincinnati recorded its first series sweep at Wrigley Field since August 8-10, 2005…Wood has won three consecutive starts…Diamond, who struck out 10 in his debut to tie a team record, fanned only one on Sunday.