Reds hold off Cubs 6-3, Votto reaches milestone
Cole Hamels left after only one inning because of discomfort in his side - another setback to the Chicago Cubs' rotation - and the Cincinnati Reds snapped their four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory Friday night.
The Cubs already were missing Kyle Hendricks, sidelined by a sore pitching shoulder. Hamels (6-3) exited after throwing 22 pitches and giving up a walk, two hits and a run in the first inning. He came out to warm up for the second inning and left the mound.
It was a huge break for the last-place Reds, who were 1-11 career against the left-hander entering the game. Plus, Hamels had been on his best streak of the season, going at least seven innings in each of his last five starts with a 1.00 ERA.
Chicago overcame a five-run deficit for a 9-7 win on Thursday against Atlanta, but couldn't pull off a second straight big comeback.
Sonny Gray (4-5) pitched shutout ball into the seventh before giving up Jason Heyward's two-run homer . Michael Lorenzen pitched out of the two-on threat in the eighth and got the last five outs for his fifth save in six chances.
Joey Votto had a season-high four singles and drove in a run. His third single off Mike Montgomery gave him 1,800 career hits. Phillip Ervin added a homer and a double.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett was activated after missing all season with a groin injury and had an infield single in four at-bats, failing to get the ball out of the infield. He was picked off first by Kyle Ryan after his hit.
The Reds are hoping their struggling offense gets a boost from Gennett, who was their most productive hitter of the last two seasons. Gennett was only 4 of 26 during a minor league rehab assignment. Manager David Bell plans to play the second baseman regularly as he rounds back into form.