The Reds handed the Cubs an 8-3 loss to take the game and the series this afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The bearded Eric Milton allowed just three runs (two earned) on six hits through six and two-thirds innings to get the win. Todd Coffey held the Cubs hitless in the next inning and a third. Kent Mercker, the strike-out king of late, struck out three in a scoreless ninth.
Adam Dunn started the Reds' scoring with a solo shot in the first. Score: 1-0.
In the third, David Ross walked but was erased on Milton's fielder's choice. Milton went to second on a balk before Ryan Freel was hit by a pitch. About that time, Felipe Lopez thought it was time for his third home run of the year. Score: 4-0.
The Cubs got on the board in the fourth when Matt Murton hit a lead-off home run. Milton went on to retire the next three he faced. Score: 4-1.
The fifth inning was the only one in which both teams scored. The Reds added another run when Milton tripled and came in on Ryan Freel's ground-out. The Cubs scored in the bottom of the frame when Henry Blanco and Carlos Zambrano singled, Juan Pierre sacrificed them over, and Murton singled them in (with the help of a fielding error by Dunn) three batters later. Score 5-3.
That's all the Reds would need, but they'd get three more in the eighth when Dunn walked with one out, Scott Hatteberg singled with two out, and Austin Kearns homered them all in.
The win brings the Reds' record to 6-3. Aaron Harang and the Reds travel to St. Louis tomorrow to face Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals at 8:10 pm, about the time I'll be somewhere in Illinois on I-70 on my way to meet up with Bellyscratcher for a weekend of baseball fun. I hope to post from the road, but I may be too drunk to type.