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Reds Win Pitching Duel Over the Cubs, Pirates Takes on the Cardinals

In a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel, the Cincinnati Reds (66-52) defeated the Chicago Cubs (52-66), 2-0 on Monday.

Mat Latos

Mat Latos

Reds righty Mat Latos (12-3) took the mound for the Reds and remained there for eight innings without a score. He gave up six hits with nine strikeouts. Since the All-Streak break, Latos is 4-0 (1.32 ERA).

Having Latos in a long outing was a good thing, allowing his bullpen to take a break after the team utilized six relievers over six innings on Sunday for their 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres (53-65). It took the Reds 13 innings to get it done.

The sole runs of Monday’s game came in the seventh inning with two-run home run by Brandon Phillips. It was the first lead of the game for the Reds and they maintained it for the win.

For the Cubs, they’re used to not scoring a run when they’re playing in the Friendly Confines. They have now gone 32 2/3 innings without doing so. After Monday’s game without a score, they’ve now been shut out for a third consecutive one. It doesn’t seem like it would be unusual for the Cubs but it is: It hasn’t happened since 1924 (Aug. 20-21).

Cubs manager Dale Sveum had a pretty Meh response with, “It’s funny. We’re scoring in bigger parks and stuff on the road and we can’t seem to muster up anything at home. We have no slugging percentage at home right now.”

Because the Cubs can’t seem to hit anything, they pinned their hopes on pitching to get a Monday win but that also fell short. Lefty Travis Wood (7-9) took the mound for eight innings and gave up four hits (including Phillips’ home run) with four strikeouts and one walk.

The Cubs have now lost 11 of their last 15 games and this could be a very ugly week for them. After their three-game series against the Reds, they’ll host the St. Louis Cardinals (67-50) for a weekend series.

The future looks a little brighter for the Reds. They sit in the middle of the NL Central, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates (70-47) and only 1.5 games behind the Cardinals.

On Tuesday, they’ll continue their series against the Cubs. Righty Homer Bailey (7-10) will take the mound for them against the Cubs righty Jeff Samardzija (6-10).

Should the Cubs get a fourth consecutive shutout, it will be another record on the books for this team. And Vegas thinks this is a likely possibility with a Reds’ win (-132, 7 o/u).

Pirates vs. Cardinals

After taking a day off, the Pirates will resume play against division foe, the Cardinals, on Tuesday in a likely unfriendly Busch Stadium.

The three-game series has the Cardinals seeking an opportunity to whittle down their three-game deficit to the Pirates and an opportunity to improve their season play against the team. The Pirates sit with a 7-3 record against them and in their most recent meeting, they won four of five games in their July 29-Aug. 1 series.

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright

The Cardinals will put righty Adam Wainwright (13-7) on the mound against righty Charlie Morton (4-3) in the first game.

Both pitchers have struggled as Wainwright has lost his last three starts. In his July 31 outing against the Pirates, he gave up four runs over seven innings, receiving a no decision. The team gave him extra days off from his last stint in hopes he’ll end his recent poor play on Tuesday.

As for Morton, he doesn’t play well against the Cardinals. He’s lost five consecutive games against them.

For now, the Pirates are the team to beat in this division but they’re riding a three-game losing streak. It will continue on Tuesday as the Cardinals take the win (-185, 7.5 o/u).




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