Homer Bailey tossed 7 1/3 effective innings on Tuesday as the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Bailey (12-9) allowed just a run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks to remain undefeated against the Cubs this season. Sean Marshall finished off the eighth inning and Jonathan Broxton picked up his third save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
"I always liked pitching on the road," Bailey said. "I always liked the traveling and being away I guess."
Ryan Hanigan provided all the offense with a bases-clearing double for the NL Central-leading Reds, who have won five of their last seven games.
Bryan LaHair ripped a pinch-hit RBI double for the Cubs, who have dropped three of their last four. Justin Germano (2-8) absorbed the loss after giving up three runs on three hits and five walks over five-plus frames.
After leaving a runner on base in all but one of the first five innings, the Reds finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the sixth. Germano lost his control in the inning as he walked Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick and Jay Bruce to load the bases with no outs.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum went to his bullpen and brought in Manuel Corpas, who got Scott Rolen to fly out, but then allowed a rocket double off the ivy in center field to Hanigan, allowing all three runners to score for a 3-0 Cincinnati advantage.
"We had base runners out there, but just didn't get that timely hit until Hanny (Hanigan) came through," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Darwin Barney singled off Bailey with one out in the Chicago eighth and LaHair followed by punishing a fastball into the right field corner, scoring Barney to cut the deficit to two.
The rally continued for the Cubs as pinch-hitter Dave Sappelt was hit by a pitch, but Marshall fanned Josh Vitters and got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to second, ending the threat.
Broxton, who has taken over the closer's role in the absence of Aroldis Chapman, induced fly outs from Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro before fanning Welington Castillo to end the game.
"We were swinging the bats really well the last few days, but last night and tonight, it's sort of discouraging," Sveum said. "We're kind of going backwards right now."
Barney went 2-for-3 with a run scored and has gone 51 straight plate appearances, dating to September 5, without striking out ... Baker managed his 3000th career game. He also notched his 1,573rd win ... Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs snapped an 0-for-16 slump with a single in the third inning ... Bailey is 3-0 in four starts against Chicago this season.