CHICAGO (AP)—Bronson Arroyo and two Cincinnati relievers made it a rare night at Wrigley Field.
Not only did the Reds beat the Chicago Cubs in their home park, a difficult enough task, they limited the NL Central leaders to just three hits and a run.
“In this ball park you rarely see 2-1,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday night, after his team got a victory by that very score.
Arroyo allowed three hits and a run in seven strong innings. And the last-place Reds took advantage of a third strike wild pitch by Ted Lilly to tie the game in the sixth and a fly ball double between two Cubs’ fielders to go ahead in the seventh.
“You never feel completely comfortable in this ball park, but with the wind blowing in today, it made it a little easier to pitch to some of the tough guys in the middle of the order,” said Arroyo, who was backed by two key double plays. “(You’re) not worrying about the ball going out of the park so easily.”
Arroyo (11-10) tied a career high by issuing five walks and struck out four in a duel with Lilly, who held the Reds hitless the first five innings.
The loss was only the fifth in the last 22 games for the NL Central-leading Cubs. They are now 46-18 at Wrigley Field.
The Reds broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh when Edwin Encarnacion hit a fly that fell in front of Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano and behind shortstop Ryan Theriot for a leadoff double. He moved up on an infield out and scored on Jolbert Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.
“I think I didn’t have a good position to the ball,” said Soriano, who was slow to come in, explaining he was expecting a deep fly. “He hit it on the end and I didn’t have a very good jump on the ball.”
Lilly (12-7) fell to 0-3 against the Reds this season with all three losses at Wrigley Field, and was hurt by a third-strike wild pitch when the Reds tied the game in the sixth. The left-hander gave up two hits in seven innings and lost for the first time since the Reds beat him on July 10.
“I thought stuff-wise this was one of Lilly’s better games of the year,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.
Lilly didn’t allow a hit until Ryan Hanigan doubled off the top of the center field wall leading off the sixth. One out later, Chris Dickerson reached on the third strike wild pitch to put runners at the corners.
When Jeff Keppinger hit a shot between first and second, Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa made his third nice play of the game to stop the ball and throw to second for the force, but Theriot’s relay to first wasn’t in time for a double play as Hanigan scored the tying run.
“I was put in a situation where I had an opportunity to get out of it. Looking back, you’d have liked to make a little better pitch to Keppinger with two strikes on him,” Lilly said. “I mean, ideally to get weaker contact. … That’s kind of the game right there, that they’re able to get that run.”
The closest the Reds came to a hit in the first five innings came on Hanigan’s third-inning liner that DeRosa snared with a diving backhanded effort just before the ball hit the ground. DeRosa also made a nice play in the second on a hard hopper off the bat of Joey Votto.
Arroyo struggled with his control early on, giving up four walks in the first four inning, one intentional. He surrendered a run in the second when Aramis Ramirez singled and moved up on an infield out and wild pitch before DeRosa hit an RBI single. But he escaped two other potential jams by inducing double play grounders from Ramirez and Geovany Soto in the third and fourth.
The Reds put INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and recalled infielder Adam Rosales from Triple-A Louisville. … The Reds still do not have a complete game this season. The only other team in the majors without one is Houston. … DeRosa made another great catch in the ninth to save a run, going high to grab Cabrera’s liner to end the inning. … The wind blew in at 8 mph on a 72-degree night.