The Reds finally did what they should have been doing all along on Wednesday when they beat the Cubs, 3-2.
Eric Milton took the mound and provided his second consecutive solid start since coming off the DL. This time, though, the team managed not to be shut out so the two runs he allowed (earned) on six hits through seven and two-thirds innings held up for the win.
Todd Coffey took over for the last out in the eighth and the ninth, holding the Cubs hitless for the save. This was the official changing of the guard: Coffey's first appearance as the Reds' closer.
To sum up:
Cubs closer Ryan Dempster: 25 IP, ERA 3.60, 9 saves, 3 blown saves, salary $15.5 million over three years
Reds closer Todd Coffey: 30 IP, ERA 1.20, 2 saves, 0 blown saves, salary league minimum or thereabouts
The Reds drew first blood in the sixth inning when Ken Griffey, Jr. led off the inning with a home run. Austin Kearns walked two batters later and Scott Hatteberg singled to send Kearns to third. Edwin Encarnación was hit by a pitch. Jason LaRue grounded out to the pitcher to yield one run from the bases-loaded situation. For a change.
In the seventh, Ryan Freel led off the inning with a triple and Griffey singled him in two batters later to score the Reds' third and final run.
Hardly the offensive clinic you'd like to see the Reds put on, but an adequate effort from the boys behind Milton. Javier Valentín didn't even try to throw out any runners stealing left field this time, so double-bonus there.
The win brings the Reds record to 29-24, still second in the NLC and one of only two teams above .500 in the division. After an off-day Thursday, they try to increase the 2.5 game distance between themselves and the third place Houston Astros. Aaron Harang faces off against Wandy Rodriguez.