Reds rely on Arroyo in opener with Cubs

Veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo aims for a third straight gem on Friday night when the Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The 36-year-old Key West, Fla. native was just 2-4 on the season after a 7-4 loss to Atlanta on May 6, but has since put together defeats of Milwaukee and Philadelphia while not allowing a single run.

He twirled 6 2/3 innings of scoreless five-hit ball in a 5-1 defeat of the Brewers on May 12, then went 7 2/3 innings and allowed another five hits in a 10-0 defeat of the Phillies on May 18.

Arroyo's earned run average has dipped from 4.30 to 3.28.

He is 11-9 in 28 career appearances against the Cubs with a 2.99 ERA across 171 2/3 innings.

Chicago goes with streaking righty Scott Feldman, who's won four straight decisions in five starts after starting the season with three losses.

The 6-foot-7 Hawaii native had an 0-3 record and a 4.50 ERA after dropping a 4-2 decision at Milwaukee on April 21, but has since trimmed the ERA to a stingy 2.19 while allowing two runs or less in five straight outings.

He tossed a complete game while beating San Diego, 6-2, on May 1, and tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in an 8-2 defeat of the New York Mets on May 18.

Feldman has never faced the Reds.

On Thursday in Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen had three hits, knocked in two runs and swiped two bags as the Pirates finished off a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 4-2 victory at PNC Park.

Chicago starter Edwin Jackson was removed after the rain delay and was charged with all four runs.

"There wasn't a whole lot of life coming out of (Jackson's) arm today," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum.

Anthony Rizzo and Ryan Sweeney provided an RBI apiece in Chicago's fourth straight loss.

Meanwhile, in New York on Wednesday, Brandon Phillips hit a tie-breaking RBI double in the top of the ninth inning, and Todd Frazier drove in two more runs later in the frame to help the Reds down the Mets, 7-4, en route to sweeping a three- game set at Citi Field.

"One run is not enough," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "Anything can happen. That was a big hit that Frazier got to give us that three-run lead."

Mets reliever Bobby Parnell (4-1) absorbed his first defeat of the season after allowing Phillips' chopping two-bagger down the first-base line. First baseman Ike Davis misplayed the ball, expecting it to land in foul territory, but it rolled past him and remained fair to allow Shin-Soo Choo to score the eventual game-winner.

Alfredo Simon (4-1) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless eighth, while Aroldis Chapman earned his 10th save of the season by tossing a perfect bottom of the ninth.

Zack Cozart went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer for the Reds, who have won four of five and 10 of their last 12 games overall.

"Coming into New York and getting that third win against one of the best pitchers in the National League is not an easy task," said Votto.

The Reds have won five of six games from the Cubs so far in 2013, including a three-game sweep earlier this month at Wrigley Field.