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Wells takes no-hitter into 7th, Cubs beat Reds 3-1

CHICAGO (AP) — Randy Wells took a no-hitter into the seventh inning to end his long losing streak and Geovany Soto hit a two-run double as the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 on Saturday despite stranding 17 runners.

Wells' no-hit bid was broken up by Chris Heisey's leadoff single on an 0-1 pitch in the seventh.

Joey Votto followed with a single but the right-hander escaped a jam with the help of a baserunning blunder by Heisey, who took off for third on a pitch in the dirt but then stopped in the middle of the basepath and was thrown out in a rundown.

Scott Rolen doubled to put runners at second and third before Wells struck out Jay Bruce and retired Ramon Hernandez on a grounder to end the inning.

Chicago won for just the fifth time in 15 games. The Cubs also left 17 runners on base in a 15-inning game April 9, 2004, at Atlanta, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That marks the franchise record since the live-ball era began in 1920, Elias said.

The NL record is 18, set by the Braves on June 23, 1986, at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wells (4-6), who lost his previous six decisions, allowed five hits over 7 2-3 innings. He struck out five and walked one for his first win in 11 starts since April 30 against Arizona.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol got Heisey to fly out in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.

Wells faced one batter more than the minimum through six innings. He walked Paul Janish in the third with one out, but after a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Cueto, Brandon Phillips grounded out to end the inning.

After pitching in and out of jams, Cueto left after five scoreless innings and 101 pitches. He worked around seven hits and five walks while striking out two.

Votto reached base safely for the 41st consecutive game. Still, the NL Central-leading Reds had their three-game winning streak snapped.

After going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and leaving 12 on base against Cueto, the Cubs finally managed to score against reliever Jordan Smith.

With one out in the sixth, Smith (1-1) allowed a single to Tyler Colvin, then walked Derrek Lee and hit Marlon Byrd with a pitch to load the bases. Alfonso Soriano got the Cubs on the board with a bloop RBI single and Soto followed with a ground-rule double into the left-field ivy to make it 3-0.

Laynce Nix hit a leadoff double in the eighth off Wells and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt. Nix scored on pinch-hitter Orlando Cabrera's groundout.

Wells was booed for failing to run hard on a sacrifice bunt in the fourth. After the inning, Lee spoke with him in the dugout.

Lee ended the inning with a long fly to right with runners on first and third.

NOTES: Cabrera stayed in the game after pinch-hitting in the seventh. ... Detroit stranded 18 runners against Cleveland on April 11.