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Reds have little to fear from Cubs’ offense in 2-1 victory

Updated: July 15, 2013 7:23PM



This is how bad it’s getting for the Cubs’ beleaguered lineup:

When pitcher Travis Wood batted Wednesday in a close game against pal and former teammate Mike Leake, the Cincinnati Reds starter feared Wood enough to pitch around him — even if it meant facing the top of the order with a man on base.

‘‘I don’t want to give him a mistake,’’ Leake said after the Reds beat the Cubs 2-1. ‘‘That’s why I walked him . . .’’

Wood drew the Cubs’ only walk of the day, and Leake stymied the Cubs for eight innings as the Reds extended their Wrigley Field winning streak to 12, a Wrigley record for a Cubs opponent.

‘‘It’s a broken record,’’ manager Dale Sveum said of the offensive woes that cost another high-performing starting pitcher a win and dropped the Cubs to a season-high 13 games under .500.

‘‘It’s getting frustrating,’’ he added. ‘‘We’re just not getting enough quality at-bats from everybody on daily basis.’’

Forget Starlin Castro’s struggles. This is a Cubs epidemic, particularly troubling for how it’s affecting core guys.

‘‘[Anthony] Rizzo hasn’t done anything in quite a while as well,’’ Sveum said of the .252-hitting slugger who hasn’t homered since May 18. ‘‘Castro has probably had better at-bats than he has, really over the last month. We’ve got to get these guys going.’’

Rizzo’s $41   million deal over seven seasons was announced a month ago Thursday.

‘‘Personally, it’s frustrating,” Rizzo said. ‘‘But the team as a whole right now is struggling. That’s probably the most frustrating part.”

The only thing guaranteed is that there are nearly four months left in a long season, for better or worse.

‘‘It’s going to test everyone’s character,’’ Rizzo said. ‘‘And it’s going to be a grind. You’re going to have to have fun, and if you look out there, it doesn’t look like anyone’s having fun right now.’’

NOTE: The Cubs put reliever Zach Putnam (elbow soreness) on the disabled list and called up left-hander Brooks Raley from Class AAA Iowa. The results of Putnam’s MRI exam weren’t immediately available.



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