CINCINNATI – The Reds know firsthand what Travis Wood can do when hes on his game. This time, they got to see it from the other side of the field.
The left-hander beat Cincinnati for the first time in his career, repeatedly pitching out of threats for seven innings, and the Chicago Cubs stalled the Reds week-long surge with a 2-0 victory Monday night.
Wood (9-11) finally beat the team that traded him after the 2011 season. He was 0-4 in his career, including three losses this season. He gave up six hits and fanned seven.
Hes an All-Star, Reds manager Dusty Baker said. He was able to make his pitches when he needed to. We had men in scoring position seven times in the game, we just couldnt get that hit tonight.
Kevin Gregg gave up a double in the ninth while earning his 31st save in 35 chances.
Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena homered off Bronson Arroyo (13-11), who had won his last four starts against the Cubs. Arroyo was good, but not quite as good as his former teammate.
Weve been rolling and winning some ballgames, Arroyo said. It was just a hard-fought game where you dont feel you pitched that bad, the guy on the other side just does a little better job than you.
The Reds were coming off a refreshing week – six wins in seven games against the rival Cardinals and the NL West-leading Dodgers, leaving Cincinnati only 1 1/2 games out in the NL Central. And with St. Louis idle Monday, the Reds had a chance to gain a half-game on first place.
Cincinnati hasnt been within a game of first place since May 25.
Facing a team they have dominated, they wasted a chance to move closer.
We had a good run against the Cardinals and the Dodgers, Arroyo said. It would have been nice to continue it tonight, but thats what good pitching does.
Cincinnati is 13-4 against the Cubs this season. Overall, Cincinnati has won 12 of its last 15 and 22 of its last 27 against Chicago.
Sweeney hit his sixth homer in the second inning and Valbuena hit his 11th in the third. Valbuenas homer left him 6 for 12 career against Arroyo with two homers – one of the few Chicago hitters with success against the righty.
Arroyo gave up seven hits over seven innings, striking out six.
The Reds stranded seven runners in scoring position in seven innings.