CINCINNATI (AP) — It’s been 17 years since the Cincinnati Reds have been in a streak this bad.
Miguel Montero doubled home two runs during Chicago’s four-run first inning, and Dan Haren pitched into the eighth on Tuesday night, leading the Cubs to a 4-1 victory following a long rain delay.
The Reds lost their season-high 10th straight, their longest slump since they dropped 11 in a row in 1998.
They have got a bad combination going: An all-rookie rotation and a struggling offense. Cincinnati has scored two runs or less seven times during the slump. The Reds managed only three singles during a 5-1 loss to Washington on Monday.
Rookie Josh Smith (0-3) gave up four runs, six hits and five walks in five innings.
“I wanted to go at least six, but it was big to get five after that debacle of a first inning,” Smith said.
The last four innings were encouraging to manager Bryan Price, who’s had to start a rookie in a major league record 59 consecutive games.
“He was just a little erratic in the first,” Price said. “To his credit, he came back to give us four scoreless innings. I’d like to see him pick up where he left off in that final start.”
The Cubs already have clinched a spot in the NL wild-card game for their first playoff berth since 2008. They trail Pittsburgh by three games for home-field advantage. The Pirates’ game against first-place St. Louis was rained out on Tuesday.
Haren (10-9) made his 10th start for the Cubs, who acquired him in a trade with Miami on July 31. The right-hander allowed three hits in 7 1-3 scoreless innings, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Travis Wood got a game-ending double play for his third save in as many chances.
Rain held up the first pitch for 2 hours, 31 minutes. The 18th delay at Great American Ball Park brought the season total to 26:57. The Cubs also were involved in one of three postponed games at GABP, one that was called off after a 4:13 delay.
Chicago sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning for four runs on the wet field. Montero’s double highlighted the 17-minute rally, which included two errors by the Reds.
SCHWARBER BACK HOME
Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber singled twice and walked twice. Schwarber grew up nearby and attended games at Great American Ball Park while growing up. The rookie is 9 for 18 at GABP with two homers.
Joey Votto walked in the ninth inning, extending his streak to reaching base safely in 46 consecutive games. He’s two games shy of Pete Rose’s club record from 1978.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton had surgery Tuesday on his right shoulder, injured while trying to make a diving catch. He has to let the shoulder heal for four to six weeks before resuming activities. … 3B Todd Frazier strained his right Achilles while trying to make a sliding catch of a foul ball. He left the game in the fourth.
Cubs: Jon Lester (10-12) has struck out 198 batters, four shy of Ken Holtzman’s club record from 1970 for strikeouts by a Cubs left-hander. He is 0-0 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Reds this season, although the Cubs have won all three games.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (9-12) has lost his last two starts, giving up 12 runs in 11 innings. He allowed a season-high seven runs in a 12-9 loss to the Mets in his last outing.