Chicago, IL – Johnny Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings and the Cincinnati Reds blanked the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, in the finale of a four- game series at Wrigley Field.
Cueto (15-6) held Chicago to three hits and two walks while striking out three, lowering his earned-run average to 2.45 in the process. Aroldis Chapman worked around a leadoff single in the ninth inning to finish off his second save in as many days and 28th of the season.
Jay Bruce ripped a two-run home run and Ryan Ludwick smoked a solo shot for the Reds, who took the final three games of the series.
"Any time you can put runs on the board for Johnny, you know the other team definitely has an uphill battle," Bruce said. "He's pitched great for us."
Cubs rookie starter Brooks Raley (0-2), who made just his second major league start, was perfect through four, but was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk over six innings.
David DeJesus and Darwin Barney had hits in the loss for the Cubs, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games.
"We're right back in the same rut we were in the beginning of the first couple months where we just can't get anything going," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said about his team's struggles.
Todd Frazier broke up Raley's potential perfect game with a one-out single to left in the fifth and Bruce put the Reds on the board two batters later, when he crushed a fastball over the wall in right.
The Reds extended the lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Ludwick smoked a two-out solo shot into the right-field bleachers.
The Cubs put a threat together against Cueto in the home sixth when pinch- hitter Adrian Cardenas and DeJesus singled to start the inning, but Cueto quickly got out of trouble by getting Barney to ground out and Anthony Rizzo to roll into an inning-ending double play.
Barney singled off Chapman to start the ninth, but the left-hander got Rizzo to fly out, fanned Alfonso Soriano and induced a pop up from Starlin Castro to end the game.
Chicago fell to 14-8 in its last 22 games at Wrigley Field dating to June 25...It was Raley's first start at Wrigley Field. He had his contract selected from Triple-A Iowa to replace Matt Garza and suffered a 7-4 defeat to the San Diego Padres in his big league debut on Tuesday...The Cubs went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five on base.