Chicago, IL – Mat Latos tossed eight nearly flawless innings as the Cincinnati Reds shut out the light-hitting Chicago Cubs, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Brandon Phillips' two-run homer in the seventh inning was all the run support needed for Latos (12-3), who scattered six hits, struck out nine and did not walk a batter en route to his fourth straight winning decision.
The Cubs were coming off a series win in St. Louis but opened their 10-game homestand with a third consecutive shutout loss in front of their home fans -- the first time that has happened since 1924.
"We're scoring in bigger parks on the road, but we can't seem to muster up anything at home," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Travis Wood (7-9) was a hard-luck loser after throwing eight innings of four- hit ball, the costly mistake to Phillips spoiling an otherwise stellar start.
The former Red gave up just three hits over the first six innings and did not walk a batter until Todd Frazier worked a leadoff free pass in the seventh. After retiring Joey Votto, Wood hung an 0-2 breaking ball to Phillips that got sent six rows up into the left-field bleachers to break the scoreless tie.
Latos, meanwhile, held Chicago without a hit until Donnie Murphy lined a single to left with two outs in the fifth.
The right-hander stranded runners on the corners by retiring Wood on a flyout and got help from Shin-Soo Choo in the next frame when the center fielder threw out Junior Lake trying to advance to third on Anthony Rizzo's base hit.
The only other time Chicago had a runner in scoring position came in the seventh, and Darwin Barney grounded out to squander Murphy's two-out double.
Even though he had thrown an efficient 94 pitch -- 68 for strikes -- Latos was pulled for Aroldis Chapman in the ninth, and the hard-throwing closer struck out the side to close out his 28th save and the Reds' fifth win in six games.
"They started to hit some balls hard off him," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, defending his decision to take Latos out. "We had a fresh arm in Chapman."
Latos has thrown 15 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings ... Phillips has 15 home runs and a team-high 89 RBI on the season ... Wood, who played two seasons with the Reds (2010-11) and fell to 0-4 in six career starts against them, has recorded a quality start in all but four of his 24 outings this year ... Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick was back in the lineup for the first time since Opening Day when he suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He batted seventh and went 0-for-3 ... Choo was hit by a pitch for a league-high 23rd time, one shy of Jason LaRue's club record set in 2004 ... The Cubs have gone 32 straight innings without scoring at Wrigley Field ... The Reds lead the season series, 11-3 ... Game time: 2:27.