Reds can’t complete sweep of Cubs

The Cubs’ Ian Happ rounds the bases after a two-run home run in the second inning against the Reds on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

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The Cubs’ Ian Happ rounds the bases after a two-run home run in the second inning against the Reds on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

The Cincinnati Reds haven’t swept a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs in Cincinnati since 1996. That’s an odd fact considering the Reds dominated the season series in several of those years: 8-4 in 2000; 12-5 in 2002; 12-4 in 2010; and 14-5 in 2013.

The Reds had a chance to stop the drought Sunday at Great American Ball Park. Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, who allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, and center fielder Ian Happ, who hit two home runs, made sure they didn’t.

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The Cubs beat the Reds 6-2 in front of a crowd of 38,536 to salvage one victory in the three-game series. The Reds still went 4-2 on the homestand against the Brewers and Cubs (41-41), the top two teams in the National League Central, raising hopes they can do more than play out the string in the final three months.

“Because the division is down this year and the best teams are hovering a bit over .500, that keeps us in this thing,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “With the better pitching we’re getting from the rotation and the way we score runs and defend and close games out, there’s no reason to think there’s not a winning streak in there that could make for a lot of fun in the second half.”

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The Reds (35-46) are 23-20 at home and 12-26 on the road. They start a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies in Denver on Monday and then play three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

“We have to play better on the road,” Price said. “We’re getting challenged here, going to Colorado and Arizona.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Bryan Price reacts to loss to Cubs

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Reds scored four earned runs in six innings against Arrieta (8-6, 4.33) in April at Great American Ball Park. They had no such luck this time. He looked more like the pitcher who no-hit the Reds in 2016.

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“He was good,” Price said. “That was seven innings of one-hit ball. He didn’t get in trouble with bad counts or walks. He didn’t give us much. We only squared up a couple of balls on the barrel. It’s a testament to how good he was.”

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Reds starter Tim Adleman (5-5, 4.67) allowed three earned runs on six hits in five innings.

Happ, who played college baseball for the Cincinnati Bearcats, hit a two-run home run in the second and a solo home run in the fourth. He drove in another run with a single in the sixth, tying his career high with four RBIs.

“He had it going today,” Adleman said. “I made a couple of bad pitches where he could handle them. Other than him, it was manageable today, but he got me.”


MONDAY’S GAME

Reds at Rockies, 8:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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