8/14 Reds 5, Cubs 0
Chris Rusin showed why the Cubs want to keep him in the rotation for the rest of the season. Bronson Arroyo showed why the Reds are headed to the playoffs.
Todd Frazier hit a solo home run and RBI double to back Arroyo, who gave up two hits over seven innings, to lead the Reds to a 4-0 victory Wednesday over the Cubs, and complete a sweep of the series.
With the win, the Reds are 13-2 against the Cubs this season, including 9-1 at Wrigley Field. Cincinnati has not won more than 14 games in a season series against Chicago since going 14-4 in 1962. They will meet again at Great American Ball Park Sept. 9-11.
Arroyo retired the first nine batters he faced before David DeJesus singled to lead off the fourth. But Darnell McDonald then grounded into a double play. McDonald singled with one out in the seventh, his first hit with the Cubs, as the ball deflected off second baseman Brandon Phillips’ glove. Arroyo, pulled after throwing 92 pitches, struck out seven.
“He’s a puzzle to figure out,” Rusin said of Arroyo. “He threw first-pitch offspeed to me, and I can’t even hit. It just shows how many offspeed pitches you can throw for strikes.”
In the first two games of the series, the Cubs went 0-6 with runners in scoring position. Arroyo never gave them a chance on Wednesday. Chicago now has been shut out in four of its last five home games, and has lost 13 of its last 17 games overall.
The Cubs are promoting Jake Arrieta from Triple-A Iowa to start Friday against the Cardinals and decided to keep Rusin in the rotation and move Carlos Villanueva to the bullpen. Rusin, who blanked the Cardinals over six innings in his last start, gave up three hits against the Reds and walked one over six innings. He was efficient, and went to a three-ball count on just three of the 21 batters he faced.
– Carrie Muskat