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Reds deal Cubs fifth straight loss

Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Alfredo Simon  yielded  one unearned  run 
through  six-plus innings  as the Cincinnati Reds dealt the sputtering Chicago 
Cubs a 4-1 loss at Wrigley Field. 

Two  days after being  shut out in both ends of a doubleheader against the New 
York  Yankees, the Cubs mustered just six hits off Simon and three Cincinnati 
relievers en route to a fifth consecutive defeat. 

The  lack of  offense saddled Jeff Samardzija (0-2) with yet another hard-luck 
loss  despite the  Chicago ace  permitting  three runs  -- one  earned --  and 
fanning seven over seven solid innings. 

Samardzija  has received just four runs of support in four starts this season, 
during which he's produced a 1.29 ERA. 

Simon  (2-1),  who permitted  four hits  and walked  two, was  aided by an RBI 
double  by Billy Hamilton and an error by Cubs second baseman Emilio Bonifacio 
that allowed two runs to score in the sixth. 

"Today  I  think we were  a little sloppy in  general," said Cubs manager Rick 
Renteria. "Jeff really kept us in the ball game throughout." 

Jonathan  Broxton finished off Cincinnati's 16th victory in its last 17 visits 
to Wrigley with a hitless ninth to record his second save of the year. 

Both  starting pitchers were extremely stingy as the opener of this three-game 
series  remained scoreless  through four innings of play, with Simon giving up 
just  two singles over that span and the Reds managing just three hits against 

Cincinnati was able to scratch home a run in the fifth. Devin Mesoraco led off 
with  a single,  stole second  and crossed  the plate  when Cubs  left fielder 
Junior  Lake  couldn't make a diving  stab on Hamilton's two-out sinking liner 
that resulted in a double. 

Things  fell apart for  Samardzija and the Cubs an inning later, as the right- 
hander served up a leadoff double to Jay Bruce and walked Mesoraco to load the 
bases  after Ryan Ludwick was granted first on catcher's interference. He then 
got  Zack  Cosart to  ground into  a potential  inning-ending double play, but 
Bonifacio  threw wildly to first to enable both Bruce and Ludwick to cross the 

Simon  continued to  cruise until the seventh, when Starlin Castro singled and 
Todd Frazier mishandled Ryan Sweeney's grounder to third to put two aboard and 
end  the  Cincinnati starter's  afternoon. Luis Valbuena's  RBI single off Sam 
LeCure  finally  halted the Cubs' 24-inning  scoreless streak, though Chicago 
failed to do any further damage to keep it a 3-1 game. 

"I  was on  the fence as to whether  I wanted [Simon] to go back out there for 
the  seventh  because he  wasn't real  sharp in the  sixth," said Reds manager 
Bryan Price. "But he managed the inning well, and I felt like I wanted to give 
him  a  shot there and  start the inning  and see if he  could get a couple of 
quick outs for us. But it ended up playing out really well." 

The  Reds tacked  on an insurance run  in the eighth when Frazier walked, beat 
the  throw to  second on a pickoff  attempt and eventually came home on a wild 
pitch from Justin Grimm. 

                                   Game Notes 

Reds  second baseman Brandon Phillips left after 2 1/2 innings after appearing 
to injure his lower back while swinging in his first at-bat ... Samardzija has 
now  gone  0-4 with six  no-decisions in 10 outings  since last winning at San 
Diego on Aug. 24 of last season ... Mesoraco has hit safely in all seven games 
since  coming off the disabled list on Apr. 7, batting .480 (12-for-25) during 
that stretch ... The Reds stole a season-high five bases. 

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