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Burnes back in All-Star form, Brewers beat Reds 8-0 to sweep

Burnes back in All-Star form, Brewers beat Reds 8-0 to sweep

Corbin Burnes returned to All-Star form, pitching sharply into the ninth inning and leading the Milwaukee Brewers over the Cincinnati Reds 8-0 for a three-game sweepBy MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 18, 2021, 10:12 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCINCINNATI — Back from the All-Star Game, Corbin Burnes looked more like an All-Star.Burnes returned to form, pitching sharply into the ninth inning Sunday as the Milwaukee Brewers cruised to an 8-0 win and finished a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.The NL Central-leading Brewers won four of the seven games against Cincinnati spanning the All-Star break.“To get our lead in the division up to seven games is huge, knowing we’ve only got three more against them (this season),” Burnes said. “We’ve got to keep playing good baseball. We’ve got a couple off days here this week, so we can keep everyone fresh and keep everyone feeling good going into August.”Burnes (5-4) dominated in his first outing since he was the losing pitcher for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, when he went two innings and gave up two runs, including a 468-foot homer by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Burnes struck out 12 while allowing five hits and a walk in 8 1/3 innings Sunday, and finished with a 2.16 ERA. He didn’t allow a runner past first base until Cincinnati loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on two singles and an error.Reliever Angel Perdomo came on to strike out Eugenio Suárez and Kyle Farmer to preserve the shutout.“He wasn’t quite in sync the first inning, but innings two through eight — really two through nine — he was on cruise,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “Just every pitch executed, ahead in the count, just really, really good.”Burnes had superb control of his cutter and with his pitch count in the 70s in the seventh inning, started thinking he could get a complete game. He’s never had one in 29 starts over four seasons in the majors.“It wasn’t something on the front of my mind to go as long as I could today, but whenever I can do that, it always helps,” he said.Christian Yelich hit a solo homer in the seventh and Willy Adames added a two-run shot in the ninth. Tyrone Taylor and Jackie Bradley Jr. each drove in two runs in a four-run fifth.Sonny Gray (2-5), who has been on and off the injured list with strained muscles around his rib cage, got the start and did fine until the Brewers got busy in the fifth.”In the fifth inning, I missed on a couple close pitches and it continued to spiral,” Gray said.CRITICAL STRETCHAfter the sweep by the Brewers, the Reds open a series with the NL East-leading New York Mets on Monday. After that comes seven games against teams that are right behind them in the division, the Cardinals and the Cubs. General manager Nick Krall said the Reds “absolutely” will be buyers at the July 31 deadline, but this stretch could determine how aggressive he’s willing to be.TRAINER’S ROOMBrewers: There was no update on RHP Brad Boxberger, who had to leave Saturday night’s game with shoulder stiffness after pitching to one batter in the eighth.Reds: All-Star right fielder Nick Castellanos missed a second game since getting hit by a pitch on the right wrist. Manager David Bell said he’s not expected to be out much longer. … Right-hander Michael Lorenzen will go on the injured list Monday with a right hamstring strain. He pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday night in his first action of the year after nursing a sore shoulder, but pulled up lame while scoring the tying run in the 10th inning. …UP NEXTBrewers: After an off day, Eric Lauer (3-4, 3.83) will be on the mound in the opener of a two-game series with the Royals in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Left-hander Mike Minor (6-8, 5.67) is scheduled to start for Kansas City. Lauer threw six innings of one-run ball in a 2-0 loss to the Reds July 9. Minor was tagged for six runs and nine hits through four innings in a 14-6 loss to the Indians July 10.Reds: The Mets come to town Monday for a three-game set, with right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3, 4.29) going for the Reds. Gutierrez had a good outing in a win over the Brewers in Milwaukee on July 10, allowing just a run on five hits through six innings. The Mets are shuffling their rotation given the latest injury — a tight forearm — to ace Jacob deGrom.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Yelich hits RBI double in 11th, Brewers top Reds, widen lead

Yelich hits RBI double in 11th, Brewers top Reds, widen lead

Christian Yelich doubled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 to widen their lead in the NL CentralBy MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 18, 2021, 5:15 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCINCINNATI — Christian Yelich doubled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Saturday night to widen their lead in the NL Central.The Reds loaded the bases in the bottom of the 11th, but with an empty bench, manager David Bell sent pitcher Wade Miley up to pinch hit for reliever Ryan Hendrix. He grounded out to second to end the game.After losing three of four to the Reds at home before the All-Star break, Milwaukee has opened this series with two straight wins to take a six-game lead.“We fought back,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s something we’ve done all year. I think we’ve been really good late in games, and the fight has been there all year.”Both teams scored in the 10th. Yelich then began the 11th with a liner into the left-field corner off left-hander Sean Doolittle (3-1) to drive in automatic runner Kolten Wong.An infield single by Avisail Garcia and a sacrifice fly by Jace Peterson drove in two more runs.Jonathan India hit a leadoff homer in the Reds eighth to make it 3-all.Yelich had an RBI grounder during a three-run rally in the seventh for a 3-2 Milwaukee lead.The Reds scored on an error and Kyle Farmer had an RBI double off All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who gave up just two hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked four.Jandel Gustave (1-0), the sixth Milwaukee reliever, pitched the last two innings for the win.“There no question there’s a lot on the line,” Bell said. “It is tough to take loses, but we have no choice but to approach this the way we do — with toughness.”WILLY SPARKS CREWWilly Adames had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run. That’s after he had three hits and four RBIs in the Brewers’ 11-6 win on Friday night. Since joining the team on May 22 in a trade with Tampa Bay, the 25-year-old shortstop leads the Brewers in hits (56), doubles (16), extra-base hits (26) and total bases. The team has gone 34-16 since his arrival.BAD LUCK MIKERight-hander Michael Lorenzen, in his first action of the season after coming off the injured list with a shoulder strain, pitched the eighth inning for the Reds without giving up a run and played two outfield positions. But he injured a hamstring while scoring as the automatic runner in the 10th inning and likely will miss some more time. Bell said he’ll know more Sunday.TRAINER’S ROOMBrewers: RHP Brad Boxberger left the game with shoulder stiffness after giving up the homer to India in the eighth. He is day to day. … RHP Devin Williams was put put on the 10-day disabled list with elbow discomfort. … 3B Travis Shaw (shoulder) will begin on-field batting practice on Tuesday. … CF Lorenzo Cain (hamstring) is expected to continue his rehab assignment at Triple-A Nashville through the weekend.Reds: All-Star right fielder Nick Castellanos wasn’t in the starting lineup but isn’t expected to miss significant time after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch Friday night. “It’s not broken, but it doesn’t feel good this morning,” he said before the game.UP NEXTMilwaukee sends All-Star right-hander Corbin Burnes (4-4, 2.36 ERA) against right-hander Sonny Gray (3-4, 3.19) in the finale of the series on Sunday afternoon. Burnes worked two innings and gave up two runs, taking the loss for the National League in Tuesday night’s game. Gray is coming off a weeklong stay on the injured list after being bothered by a strained oblique before the All-Star break.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Adames drives in 4 as Brewers rally for 11-6 win over Reds

Adames drives in 4 as Brewers rally for 11-6 win over Reds

CINCINNATI — Willy Adames homered and drove in four runs as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds 11-6 on Friday night.Adames had a two-run shot in the fifth inning and then doubled home two more in a five-run eighth that buried the Reds.After losing three straight to the Reds in Milwaukee before the All-Star break, the Brewers won the first of a three-game set in Cincinnati and pushed their lead in the NL Central back to five games.“This team beat us three times in a row, so just getting a win against them, starting off the second half in a good way, starting off a big series in a big way, it was meaningful for sure,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.The Reds got a scare in the third inning when All-Star Nick Castellanos, the team’s best hitter, was hit on the right wrist by a pitch. X-rays after the game showed no broken bones, but Castellanos could miss some time, manager David Bell said.“It is not broken, so he’s pretty sore,” Bell said. “A little early to tell about tomorrow or this weekend. But great news that it’s not broken. It got him in a spot that it easily could have been broken.”With the Reds leading 5-3 in the sixth, Luis Urías hit an RBI double against Tyler Mahle. Reliever Amir Garrett (0-3) came in and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a bouncing ball deep into the shift that second baseman Jonathan India misplayed, allowing Urías to race home with the tying run.Kolten Wong, playing his first game since coming off the injured list, singled home Bradley for the Brewers’ first lead of the night.Milwaukee reliever Brent Suter (9-4) allowed an unearned run in the fifth.Urías hit a one-out homer in the eighth, Adames drove in two with a double, and two more runs scored on wild pitches by Ryan Hendrix to give Milwaukee a six-run lead.“We took every advantage they gave us,” said Adames, who came over in a four-player trade with Tampa Bay in May.“He’s getting huge hits,” Counsell said of the 25-year-old shortstop. “They come at big times, they change the complexion of games, and he’s doing it often. He’s been just incredible since we acquired him. He’s changed our team, and our team changed when he got here.”Avisaíl García also homered for Milwaukee.Tyler Naquin and Eugenio Suárez hit two-run doubles and Aristides Aquini homered for the Reds, who lost for the third time in the last 12 games.“It was just poor,” said Mahle, who allowed five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. “All I needed to do was keep the team in the game, and I didn’t do that.”PERALTA GETS A RESTMilwaukee starter Freddy Peralta is sitting out the Reds series for rest, and Counsell said the 25-year-old right-hander likely won’t go again until next weekend’s series against the White Sox. A late addition to Tuesday’s All-Star Game roster, Peralta struck out Adolis García of Texas, Boston’s J.D. Martinez and Matt Olson of Oakland in the seventh inning, becoming the first Brewers hurler to strike out the side in an All-Star appearance. He’s has a 2.39 ERA at the break in 18 appearances (17 starts), with 135 strikeouts in 98 innings.TRAINER’S ROOMBrewers: LHP Antoine Kelly (shoulder) started a rehab assignment on Tuesday at the Arizona Complex League. RHP Dylan File (elbow) also is rehabbing there.Reds: RHP Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) was activated from the injured list Friday. … RHP Art Warren (left oblique strain) went on the 10-day injured list. … RHP Jeff Hoffman (shoulder) is expected to wind up his rehab and could get a start next week against the New York Mets, Bell said. … RHP Sonny Gray (rib cage strain) is expected to start Sunday after landing on the injured list July 8.UP NEXTThe Brewers send All-Star right-hander Brandon Woodruff (7-4, 2.06 ERA) to face Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.65) on Saturday night. The hurlers started against one another on Sunday but neither figured in the decision. Woodruff worked six scoreless innings and Castillo gave up a run in 5 1/3.———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Davidson: Sudden death of goalie has “far-reaching effects”

Davidson: Sudden death of goalie has “far-reaching effects”

The Columbus Blue Jackets are dealing with the sudden death of 24-year-old goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks in a Sunday night fireworks accidentBy MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 7, 2021, 9:58 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCOLUMBUS — Matiss Kivlenieks was with teammate and close friend Elvis Merzlikins in Michigan for the wedding of the daughter of Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender coach Manny Legace and a Fourth of July celebration.The festive weekend ended in tragedy Sunday night when the 24-year-old goaltender from Latvia, who was spending the summer in the United States, was killed in a freak fireworks accident at Legace’s house in Novi, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit.Now the organization for which he played since his professional career began in 2017 is in mourning, working with his family in Latvia to arrange memorial services and making mental health counselors available for those who need it, said John Davidson, the Blue Jackets’ president of hockey operations.“This has far-reaching effects,” Davidson said Wednesday. “This was Manny’s daughter’s wedding, and all those people were there and this tragedy happened. We’ve got to deal with it, we’ve got to deal with it in the right way, which I’m very confident we are.”Kivlenieks was fatally injured when a he was hit in the chest with an errant firework while trying to get out of a hot tub, police said. A mortar tube tipped and angled toward Kivlenieks, who had been in the hot tub near a swimming pool. The blast hit him in the chest, police said.The investigation is still being conducted and police have not yet issued a report or said who was in charge of setting off the fireworks. A coroner ruled that Kivlenieks’ death resulted from the fireworks blast. Initial reports said he fell and hit his head while trying to exit the hot tub.Davidson said this has been especially difficult for Merzlikins — who is also Latvian — and his wife Aleksandra.“They were Kivi’s closest friends, and they were with him that night,” Davidson said. “This is a devastating loss for them and for all us, one that will always be with us.”Legace, a 48-year-old former NHL goalie who played mostly for the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues in his 11-year career, coached Kivlenieks for his entire professional career. The young player from Riga signed with Columbus as an undrafted free agent on May 25, 2017.Kivlenieks played in 85 games for the the the Cleveland Monsters, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, and in eight games for the Blue Jackets in the past two seasons. He was considered the No. 3 Blue Jackets goaltender and a candidate to be No. 2 if Joonas Korpisalo or Merzlikins is traded, which is widely expected.“I think our players who played with him said it the best, that he always came to the rink with a smile on his face and a great positive attitude,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “We’d watched him play in the (United States Hockey League) and thought greatly of his potential, and a big part of that was his attitude.”Davidson was hired by the Blue Jackets as president of hockey operations in 2012. He spent the last two years in the same position for the New York Rangers before being fired and then hired back by Columbus. He recalls meeting a wide-eyed Kivlenieks four years ago when the goalie was signed, then watching him come of age in a win over Davidson’s Rangers at Madison Square Garden.With Blue Jackets goalies nursing injuries, Kivlenieks made his NHL debut on Jan. 19, 2020. He stopped 31 of 32 shots to beat the Rangers 2-1.“It was a special interest to watch the young man play,” said Davidson, a former goalie. “He passed, he passed the test in a tough building, one of the great buildings in the world for sports. And that’s something that’s on his resume forever.”———More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Bullpen strong again as Reds hand Cubs 9th straight loss

Bullpen strong again as Reds hand Cubs 9th straight loss

Amir Garrett escaped a jam in the ninth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds handed the Chicago Cubs their ninth straight loss with a 3-2 winBy MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 4, 2021, 9:38 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCINCINNATI — With one out in the ninth inning and Cincinnati clinging to a 3-2 lead against the Chicago Cubs, Amir Garrett put himself in a jam.Garrett walked Ian Happ on four pitches and surrendered a pinch-hit single to Eric Sogard. That prompted a visit from Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, whose instruction was simple.“Throw the ball right down the middle, get this double play,” Johnson told him.Willson Contreras then bounced to third baseman Eugenio Suárez, who started a game-ending double play that closed out the Cubs’ ninth straight loss.“Kudos to (Johnson) for coming out there and talking to me,” said Garrett, who earned his sixth save.Cincinnati earned its fourth straight win and pulled within seven games of NL Central-leading Milwaukee. The Reds visit the Brewers for a four-game series before the All-Star break, and the teams play a three-game set in Cincinnati after the break.The Cubs scored a total of five runs in the weekend series, dropping all three games by one run. They closed out a 1-9 trip, losing every game after throwing a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers.The Reds’ beleaguered bullpen held the Cubs scoreless for the third straight day. After Wade Miley gave up 10 hits through 6 2/3 innings, Art Warren (2-0), Brad Brach and Garrett closed it out.“They’ve been doing it more than just this weekend, but I think it really showed up this weekend,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “They’ve been pitching really well, and again today.”Chicago went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base.Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks pitched six innings of one-run ball. He allowed five hits, struck out five and walked none.Chicago jumped in front with one run in each of the first two innings. Javier Báez singled in Kris Bryant in the first. Then Jake Marisnick smashed a one-out triple over the head of Tyler Naquin in center in the second and scored on Hendricks’ two-out single up the middle.Cincinnati got one back on Tucker Barnhart’s RBI double in the second, and then went ahead to stay with two runs in the seventh.The Reds loaded the bases against Dan Winkler (1-1), who hit Jonathan India with one out to push across the tying run. Another run scored on Jesse Winker’s infield out before Andrew Chafin struck out Nick Castellanos to end the inning.“It was a tough day,” Marisnick said. “We couldn’t come up with a big hit. It’s been tough, but you won’t see guys hanging their heads. Our pitchers are giving us a chance, but it’s been eluding us lately.”TRAINERS ROOMCubs: 2B Nico Hoerner (left hamstring strain) was activated from the injured list. He went 0 for 4 in his first big league game since May 25. INF Sergio Alcántara was sent down to make room on the roster.Reds: Injured relievers Tejay Antone (right forearm inflammation) and Lucas Sims (sprained right elbow) are expected to start throwing again soon and could be back by the end of July, Bell said. Antone has been on the injured list since June 9, and Sims since June 24.UP NEXTCubs: Right-hander Zach Davies (5-5) is expected to start Monday in the opener of a four-game series against Philadelphia. Left-hander Matt Moore (0-1) takes the mound for the Phillies.Reds: Right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (3-3) starts Monday at Kansas City. Left-hander Mike Minor (6-6) gets the ball for the Royals, who lead the all-time series with the Reds 17-12.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

Votto, Naquin homer, Reds deal Cubs 8th straight loss, 3-2

Votto, Naquin homer, Reds deal Cubs 8th straight loss, 3-2

Joey Votto and Tyler Naquin homered and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2By MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 4, 2021, 1:04 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds relievers are on a roll at the expense of the reeling Chicago Cubs.The beleaguered Reds bullpen, which has seen more bad days than good this season, hamstrung the Cubs for the second straight day, allowing just two hits over the last four innings in a 3-2 win on Saturday — the eighth straight loss for Chicago.On Friday night, five relievers shut out the Cubs over the last four innings in 2-1 win for the Reds. Heath Hembree threw a scoreless ninth in both games.It’s been a confidence booster for that bullpen, which has the second-worst ERA in the majors and is without key members Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims due to injuries.“Each one of them just did their job and did it really well,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Every one of them. Its been going on for a while. They’ve been doing a really good job and getting better and better.”Joey Votto and Tyler Naquin homered Saturday and the slumping Eugenio Suárez drove in the decisive run with a single in the seventh inning as the Reds hopped over the Cubs into second place in the NL Central, behind the Milwaukee Brewers.Tyler Mahle allowed two runs and five hits and struck out seven over five innings for the Reds. Ryan Hendrix (4-1), who pitched the seventh inning, got the win.Adbert Alzolay (4-8) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings for the Cubs.Mahle pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. Rafael Ortego scored on a passed ball in the second, and Kris Bryant homered in the third for a 2-0 lead.Votto homered to center field with two out in the fourth, and Naquin tied the game with a booming shot into the right-field seats leading off the fifth. In the Reds seventh, Suárez, who was hitting .174, drove in Votto with a looping single to right.“I hit it off the end of the bat a little bit, but it was enough,” Suárez said.The Cubs haven’t won a game since throwing a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers to open the current 10-game road trip on June 24.“… As fast as it went south, it can turn around,” Bryant said. “It’s insane. You have to forget things, good or bad. We have another game in 12 hours.”RALLY KILLERStruggling Chicago right fielder Justin Heyward let some prime RBI chances slip away. He struck out with the bases loaded to end the Cubs first, grounded out with a runner on to end the third, and went down swinging again with two on and two outs in the fifth. With his average slipping to .193, he was lifted for pinch hitter Jake Marisnick, who struck out. The Cubs stranded a total of nine runners.VOTTO POWERVotto had two hits Saturday, including the long homer to center, and scored twice after driving in both Reds runs with a double on Friday night. The 37-year-old first baseman also made the defensive play of the game Saturday. With a runner on first and one out in the Cubs seventh, Votto jumped up to snag a hard hopper from Anthony Rizzo and started a sparkling 3-6-3 double play.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: 2B Nico Hoerner is back with the team and is expected to be activated. Horner (left hamstring) has been on the injured list since May 26.Reds: Right-handed reliever Michael Feliz (right elbow sprain) was sent to Triple-A Louisville for a rehab assignment, where RHP Jeff Hoffman (right shoulder soreness) made his third rehab appearance on Friday. Feliz and RHP Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder strain), who is rehabbing in Arizona, could be back with the Reds around the All-Star break.UP NEXTLeft-hander Wade Miley (6-4, 3.09 ERA) will be on the mound for the Reds as they for a sweep in Sunday’s series finale. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks (10-4, 3.98) will go for the Cubs. Hendricks has worked at least six innings in each of his nine starts since May 9.———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Reds deal Cubs seventh straight loss behind Gray, Votto

Reds deal Cubs seventh straight loss behind Gray, Votto

Joey Votto hit a two-run double in the sixth inning, and the Cincinnati Reds handed the Chicago Cubs their seventh straight loss with a 2-1 victoryBy MITCH STACY AP Sports WriterJuly 3, 2021, 4:42 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCINCINNATI — Heath Hembree says relievers need to have short memories to survive the grind of the long season.For one night at least, this one was pretty sweet.Hembree closed out a strong performance by Cincinnati’s beleaguered bullpen, and the Reds handed the Chicago Cubs their seventh straight loss with a 2-1 victory on Friday.Joey Votto hit a two-run double in the sixth, and that was more than enough for five Reds relievers who combined for four scoreless innings.“We kind of just passed the ball off to each other,” Hembree said. “Each guy who came in did his job.”Cincinnati also got a strong performance from Sonny Gray, who struck out eight in five innings in his first big league start since June 8. He had been sidelined by a strained right groin.After Gray departed, Art Warren and Josh Osich (1-0) combined to work the sixth. Amir Garrett got two outs and Brad Brach worked 1 1/3 innings. Hembree finished the six-hitter for his second save.It was a huge boost for a revolving-door bullpen with the worst ERA in the majors.“Maybe we turned the corner here and can get on a roll,” Brach said.Ian Happ singled for Chicago with two out in the ninth, but pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega struck out swinging for the final out.“They were above and beyond tonight,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “We asked a lot of each guy. All of them were just outstanding. To hold them right there for that many innings was impressive.”The Cubs wasted a solid start by Alec Mills (3-2), who breezed through the first five innings, allowing just one hit.With two on in the sixth, Chicago manager David Ross called on left-hander Adam Morgan to face the lefty-batting Votto with two outs. Votto responded with a liner into the right-field corner.Jason Heyward drove in the only run for the Cubs with a two-out double in the fourth.SLUMPING CUBSChicago fell 7 1/2 games back of NL Central-leading Milwaukee. They were swept in a three-game set against the Brewers before arriving in Cincinnati.“We’re in a skid and losing sucks,” said first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. “Every cliché in baseball is going to be used. It is day by day, pitch by pitch. We have to stick together.”MAKING NOISEThe crowd of 40,854 was the first sellout since Great American Ball Park went back to full capacity in June.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: CF Kris Bryant (side) and Rizzo (back) returned to the lineup. 3B Patrick Wisdom also was back after leaving Wednesday’s game with a stiff neck and eye contusion from a collision with Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor while playing first base.Reds: CF Tyler Naquin (sore right wrist) returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Saturday. He got two at-bats off the bench in the Padres series. … Right-hander Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance in the Arizona rookie league. He hasn’t pitched for the Reds this season but could rejoin the club after the All-Star break.UP NEXTThe Reds send right-hander Tyler Mahle (7-3) to the mound on Saturday against Chicago right-hander Adbert Alzolay (4-7) on Saturday. Mahle allowed four runs and six hits in six innings in a loss to Atlanta last Sunday. Alzolay also had a rough outing Sunday, lasting just three innings in a loss to the Dodgers.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports———Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

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