Observations: Cubs swept by Reds, losing streak hits 9

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Observations: Cubs' losing streak hits 9 as Reds sweep originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs lost 3-2 to the Reds on Sunday, their ninth straight loss, dropping to 42-42 this season.

Here are 10 observations from the loss.

1. The Cubs struggled to score this weekend but quickly manufactured two runs Sunday. Javy Báez hit an RBI single in the first, following singles by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. In the second, Kyle Hendricks cashed in Jake Marisnick’s triple with an RBI single.

That turned out to be all their offense for the afternoon.

"We couldn't come up with a couple of big hits here or there," Jake Marisnick said. "It's kind of felt like that over the last couple of weeks. It's been a grind for us, but you're not going to see a lot of guys hanging their heads."

2. It’s taken three games in July for Bryant to equal 2/3 of his June hit total (nine). He went 1-for-3 Sunday and 6-for-12 this weekend.

3. Hendricks has had more trouble in the first than any other inning this season (10.69 ERA). He escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam in the opening frame Sunday.

4. Hendricks pitched six innings of five-hit, one-run ball. He retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced.

5. All-Star caliber? Since his rough April, Hendricks is 9-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 12 outings — 10 of which are quality starts. He got his a second straight no decision Sunday after winning nine straight starts.

"He had a phenomenal day. We needed that start from him," Ross said. "Another great chance for us to win the game during his start."

6. The Reds took a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning Saturday. The same thing happened Sunday. Cincinnati loaded the bases off Dan Winkler, who hit a batter to force in a run.

Andrew Chafin inherited the jam and got the next two batters to end the inning, but the Reds took the lead on a forceout.

7. Nico Hoerner made his long-anticipated return from the injured list, going 0-for-4. The Cubs sorely missed him the last five weeks — he was hitting .338 before going down with a hamstring strain.

8. The Cubs ended their own personal Dead Ball era with 11 hits Sunday, snapping a 20-game streak in which they tallied eight or fewer hits. They’re one of three teams since 1920 with that dubious distinction.

9. The Cubs have lost nine straight games, tied for their second-longest losing streak this century.

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"We're grinding," Ross said. "Guys are giving all their effort. I don't see any lack in concentration or focus. I see a willingness to fight through it.

"It seems like an inning or so just doesn't go our way."

10. The Cubs are .500 for the first time since May 19, when they were 21-21.

On deck: The Cubs open a four-game series with the Phillies Monday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. Matt Moore (0-1, 5.79) and Zach Davies (5-5, 4.32 ERA) are the probable starters.

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