Cubs shut out for 3rd time in row at home, 1st such skid since 1924
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter August 12, 2013 10:19PM
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 12: Welington Castillo #53 of the Chicago Cubs walks back to the dugout after striking out to end the sixth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on August 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Updated: August 13, 2013 12:30AM
After batting the ball around on the road, the Cubs resumed their role of being beaten at home.
With their 2-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cubs suffered their third consecutive shutout defeat at Wrigley Field, the first time that has happened since Aug. 20-21, 1924.
The Cubs have gone 322/3 innings without a run at home. They haven’t scored since the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 2. They also have won only one of their last 10 home games.
On Friday, the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 for their first shutout of their rivals in St. Louis since 1997. They scored 27 runs on the six-game trip, but their bats have gone silent at home.
“It’s funny. We’re scoring in bigger parks and stuff on the road, and we can’t seem to muster up anything at home,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We have no slugging percentage at home right now.”
The Cubs didn’t get a hit until the fifth, when Donnie Murphy smacked a clean single to left field with two outs. Darwin Barney followed with a single to right, but pitcher Travis Wood flied out.
The Reds had only three hits against Wood (7-9) until the seventh. But after Todd Frazier drew a walk and Joey Votto flied out, Brandon Phillips hit an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats to account for the only runs of the game.
The Cubs finished with six hits against Mat Latos (12-3), but they couldn’t produce a run against him in eight innings. He struck out nine, and Aroldis Chapman fanned the side in the ninth for his 28th save.
Wood suffered his second consecutive loss, despite a season-high eight innings and his team-leading 20th quality start. He fell to 2-5 with a 2.92 ERA in 10 starts against National League Central opponents.
“From pitch one, [Latos] was hitting every spot and making the pitches,” said Wood, who faced the team that traded him before the 2012 season. “So I felt like, ‘OK, you have to step it up and make sure we can’t fall behind here.
“Hats off to him, he was outstanding tonight. He outpitched me.”
Latos is 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA since the All-Star break for the Reds, who gained a half-game on the idle Pittsburgh Pirates and Cardinals.
‘‘He was pounding the strike zone,’’ Barney said. ‘‘He had 35 pitches in three innings, which is usually not a good number for us.
‘‘It’s tough because Travis threw well. You give up two runs through seven innings, you’re feeling pretty good. It’s tough we couldn’t give him some support.’’
The Reds are 13-1 in their last 14 games at Wrigley Field.