Published September 10, 2013
| Sports Network
The Cincinnati Reds were unable to avoid a letdown in their series opener with the last-place Chicago Cubs.
After getting shut out by their division rivals for the first time in over five years, the Reds look to even the three-game set on Tuesday night.
Cincinnati opened a 10-game homestand by taking three of four from the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals, then swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in three games over the weekend.
But the Reds' bats couldn't do anything against the Cubs on Monday in a 2-0 loss that dropped them two games back of the Cards in the division. Cincinnati also fell a game behind the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
Travis Wood beat his former Cincinnati team for the first time, hurling seven scoreless frames of six-hit ball. He also struck out seven before Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg finished off the Cubs' first shutout of the Reds since Aug. 19, 2008.
It marked the first time in 87 games between the clubs that the Reds failed to score.
"There wasn't a lot of hard contact tonight," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of his Wood's effort. "It was obviously one of his better ones."
Chicago, which had lost four of six, got early home runs from Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena off Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo, who logged seven innings of work.
"We didn't play well tonight and it showed," Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said. "They jumped on us and we didn't do anything to get back."
The Reds lost for only the fourth time in 17 meetings with the Cubs this season and are still 28-8 in this series dating back to the end of the 2011 campaign. They have won 11 of 16 at home in that span.
Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch for the 25th time this year, setting a new Reds single-season record.
Cincinnati will try to rebound tonight behind left-hander Tony Cingrani, who didn't show any rust last time out from a lower back strain that forced him to the disabled list for two weeks.
Cingrani squared off against the Reds on Thursday in his first start since Aug. 20 and picked up the win, scattering two runs, four hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven.
The 24-year-old is 7-3 with a 2.80 earned run average in 22 games (17 starts) this season and 1-0 lifetime versus the Cubs in three meetings with a 3.60 ERA.
Chicago's Edwin Jackson takes the mound one day after his 30th birthday hoping to avoid a career-high 16th loss of the season.
Jackson is 7-15 with a 4.91 ERA in 27 starts this season and matched his personal high of defeats in a season on Tuesday versus Miami. He gave up three runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings to remain winless since July 31.
"It has definitely been a disappointing season, but every lesson is a lesson learned," said Jackson. "Either you accept it or be complacent with it or you find ways to keep working hard and get ready to bounce back."
The right-hander, who lost 15 games with Tampa Bay in 2007, lost his first five decisions of 2013 and the fifth came versus the Reds on May 5. Jackson gave up four runs over five innings in his lone previous matchup with Cincinnati this season and is 1-1 against the club with a 3.46 ERA in four lifetime encounters.