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Arroyo dominates as Reds shut out Cubs

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The Cincinnati Reds engineered the perfect formula again in Wednesday's 5-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs: a seven-inning two-hitter from starter Bronson Arroyo, two scoreless innings from the bullpen and efficient offensive production.

The win secured a three-game series sweep and a 9-1 season record for the Reds at Wrigley Field..

"We got three great games here by our starters and got our bullpen back in sync," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We scored just enough runs to win and played good defense. We played good ball."

Arroyo (11-9) allowed singles in the fourth and seventh innings while walking none and striking out seven. Todd Frazier, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored.

Reds right-handed reliever Alfredo Simon worked a perfect eighth and Jonathan Broxton allowed one base runner -- a hit batter -- in a scoreless ninth.

"I've been comfortable in this ballpark for a long time for some reason, definitely the last seven years," said Arroyo, now 8-3 all-time at Wrigley Field. "Today I wasn't really in trouble too many times. One double play ball (in the fourth) was really big, I kept my pitch count low (92 pitches) and things really worked out for us."

The victory was the Reds' fourth straight and sixth in their last seven games. The Cubs have now lost four in a row and were shut out for the fourth time in their last five home games dating back to Aug. 3.

"To get shut out and get nothing at all going today is frustrating," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's frustrating for the guys in the clubhouse, too. They're plugging away as best as they can and not getting anything to show for it."

Frazier gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a first-pitch home run to left off Cubs starter Chris Rusin. Frazier's 11th home run of the season cleared the left field fence and landed on Wavelend Avenue.

The Reds added a run in the fifth as catcher Ryan Hanigan doubled home Zack Cozart from first base with one out. Cozart collected an RBI double off Cubs reliever Carlos Villanueva in the seventh, scoring Jay Bruce from second for a 3-0 Reds lead.

The Reds added two in the eight with no outs. Frazier doubled home Chris Heisey and then scored on Joey Votto's two-base hit down the first base line.

Rusin (2-2) worked six innings and allowed two runs and three hits, struck out three and walked one.

"Each start I'm getting back to the rhythm that I (had) in Triple-A," Rusin said. "I was able to keep the ball down for the most part and balls that were hit in the air -- besides Frazier's (homer). I felt good out there, I made my pitches today and had a lot of movement."

The Cubs and Reds close their season series on Sept 9-11 at Great American Ballpark.

NOTES: Cubs manager Dale Sveum rested SS Starlin Castro, 2B Darwin Barney and OF Junior Lake, playing three relative newcomers, including McDonald's first Cubs start. ... RHP Pedro Strop has held opponents scoreless in 18 of 19 appearances since he was acquired from Baltimore on July 25. Opposing batters are hitting just .125 against him. ... The Reds have five candidates up for vote through Aug. 31 by fans, media and alumni for the team's Hall of Fame: RHP Jeff Brantley (1994-97), LHP John Franco (1984-89), RHP Danny Graves (1997-2005), OF Ken Griffey Jr. (2000-08) and OF Reggie Sanders (1991-98). ... The Reds are at Milwaukee on Thursday, sending left-hander Tony Cingrani (5-2, 2.87 ERA) against the Brewers Kyle Lohse (8-7, 3.26 ERA). The Cubs have Thursday off before starting a three-game weekend home series with the Cardinals. Right-hander Jake Arrieta scheduled to start for Chicago on Friday. ... Since a three-game sweep by Milwaukee in September 2011, the Reds have won six of eight series with the Brewers, including three of the last four.
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