Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker was hoping starter Mat Latos could go deep into Monday’s game against the Cubs after his Reds’ played a 13 inning game a day earlier against San Diego.
Latos accommodated, shutting out the Cubs in eight innings in a 2-0 victory at Wrigley Field–which has been more a home to the visitors of late.
The Cubs fell for the fifth straight time at home and ninth time in the last 10.
“It’s funny that we’re scoring in bigger parks on the road and can’t seem to muster anything at home,” manager Dale Sveum said. “I told [bench coach] Jamie [Quirk] from the first inning it was going to be a long night because [Latos] looked like the stuff he had a few years ago.”
Latos (12-3) was dominating, striking out nine without a walk and holding the Cubs hitless until the fifth. Donnie Murphy singled to left with two outs for the first hit and Darwin Barney followed with a single to right.
But Cubs starter Travis Wood flied out to end the inning.
The Cubs had two more hits in the sixth when Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo singled. But Lake tried to reach third on Rizzo’s hit and was thrown out.
Murphy doubled in the seventh and David DeJesus singled in the eighth for the only other Cubs hits.
“He was pounding the strike zone,” Barney said of Latos. “He had 35 pitches through three innings, which is usually not a good number for us. With the velocity he had [hitting 95 mph on fastballs] it helped his off speed pitches.
“It’s tough when Travis throws well. Giving up two runs through seven innings you’re feeling pretty good. It’s tough we couldn’t give him some support.”
Wood (7-9) held the Reds to four hits through a season-high eight inning performance. But one of the hits was a homer by Brandon Phillips on an 0-2 pitch in the seventh. It came after the lone walk Wood allowed.
“Hat’s off to him,” Wood said of Latos. “He was outstanding tonight. He out-pitched me. I saw early on how `on’ his game he was. He kept us off the boards.
“I was ahead in the count [to Phillips] and made a mistake.”
Wood suffered his second straight loss despite his 20th quality start. He fell to 0-3 with a 3.67 ERA against his former team.
The Cubs were shut out for the ninth time this season and third consecutive time at Wrigley Field.
That hasn’t happened since 1924 when the Cubs lost an Aug. 20, 1924 doubleheader to Boston and a 2-0 game the next day to Brooklyn.