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Thursday, September 15, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Reds 8, Cubs 6

By Bruce Levine

CINCINNATI -- A quick look at the Chicago Cubs' 8-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in 11 innings on Thursday at Great American Ball Park.


How it happened: The Reds’ Joey Votto led off the 11th with a double off Cubs reliever James Russell and Jay Bruce ended the game with a home run. The Cubs had sent the game to extra innings with two runs in the ninth. Tony Campana led off that inning with a single and scored on a double from Alfonso Soriano. Darwin Barney then singled home Soriano. In the first inning, the Cubs offense provided a nice cushion for starter Randy Wells, who has not lost a game in nine starts. Carlos Pena's 28th homer of the season off of Reds starter Homer Bailey got the Cubs offense going and Marlon Byrd's two-run homer padded the lead. The Cubs loaded the bases in the third with no outs and failed to score. The Reds batted around in the fifth inning, scoring three runs and knocking out Wells, who lasted 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing since July 6. Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips and Chris Heisey each hit solo homers off Wells.

What it means: The Cubs finished their seven-game road trip with a 3-4 record. Shortstop Starlin Castro extended his on-base streak to 28 games with a single in the second inning. Pena’s 28 homers equal his 2010 output with the Tampa Bay Rays. All 28 have come since May 3.

Outside the box: Cubs catching coordinator Marty Pevey has been working with Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill on this road trip. The Cubs have not had a catching instructor at the major leage level in 2011. Bryan LaHair extended his hitting streak to nine games with a base hit in the first inning.

Up next: The Cubs begin their last homestand, sending right-hander Matt Garza (8-10, 3.54 ERA) against Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (11-10, 3.51) on Friday at 1:20.