CINCINNATI — When it rains, it pours. That’s how most of the Cubs’ 10-game road trip went.
After pitching a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers to open the trip, the Cubs had little else go right in the rest of it.
The Cubs dropped their ninth consecutive game Sunday by falling to the Reds 3-2, completing a three-game sweep. During the course of their losing streak, they have gone from tied for first place in the National League Central to third place in the division, 81⁄2 games behind the front-running Brewers.
‘‘We’re too talented to let this go too far,’’ manager David Ross said.
Nothing has been able to get the Cubs out of their skid. It’s like they’ve been playing in quicksand with no branch in sight to help them out of it.
‘‘It’s almost like we have to play a perfect game to get a win right now,’’ right-hander Kyle Hendricks said. ‘‘Things just aren’t going our way.’’
Not even Hendricks could turn the tide Sunday. He did all he could on a hot and humid day, allowing one run and five hits in six innings to give the Cubs a chance to win.
But five of the Cubs’ losses during their skid have come by one run, making little things turn into big things during the course of a game.
‘‘You’re gonna have ups and downs,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘This is obviously a big down for us, but all we can do is focus pitch to pitch. It’ll turn eventually.’’
The game slipped from the Cubs’ grasp in the seventh, when right-hander Dan Winkler came on to replace Hendricks with a 2-1 lead. Winkler struggled with his command, and after allowing two singles and hitting a batter to load the bases, he plunked Jonathan India with one out to tie the score 2-2. Jesse Winker followed with an RBI fielder’s choice against left-hander Andrew Chafin to give the Reds the lead.
‘‘We’ve played some tight games,’’ Ross said. ‘‘We haven’t played bad baseball. Just not the best execution on the back end.’’
While the offense managed 11 hits, it still was unable to come up with more than two runs. That has become a common theme.
‘‘We couldn’t come up with a couple of big hits here or there,’’ outfielder Jake Marisnick said. ‘‘It’s kind of felt like that over the last couple of weeks. It’s been a grind for us, but you’re not gonna see a lot of guys hanging their heads.’’
The Cubs look like a team that could use the All-Star break to reset, but that’s not coming for another week. They will play seven more games without a day off entering the break.
‘‘It’s pretty crazy what this game will dish out in terms of wins, losses, slumps, highs, lows,’’ third baseman Kris Bryant said. ‘‘I think it’s important to realize, yeah, this sucks right now, but keep your head up. As quick as it went south, it can go the other way again. You’ve just gotta believe in that and keep going.’’