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Chicago Cubs edge Cincinnati Reds to end 12-game losing streak

Aug 17, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks (28) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Happ homered and Kyle Hendricks scattered three hits over six innings to help the visiting Chicago Cubs snap their season-high 12-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Codi Heuer held the Reds scoreless over the final two innings to record his second career save and first this season.

The Cubs took their first lead since Saturday in Miami when Frank Schwindel doubled home Rafael Ortega against Reds rookie starter Vladimir Gutierrez with one out in the third. It was Schwindel’s sixth straight game with an extra-base hit.

A line drive homer to right off the bat of University of Cincinnati product Ian Happ doubled Chicago’s lead in the sixth to 2-0.

Hendricks (14-5) moved atop the National League in wins, holding the hot-hitting Reds hitless until Tyler Naquin dropped a soft liner in front of a sliding Ortega in center field with one out in the fifth.

The hit put runners at first and second with one out. But Hendricks struck out Shogo Akiyama and induced a ground out from Gutierrez to get out of the jam.

Hendricks returned to form after he had his string of 16 consecutive starts without a loss snapped in his last outing against Milwaukee in a 17-4 loss on Thursday.

Gutierrez (8-4), who had won four consecutive starts and five straight decisions, allowed two runs and nine hits over six innings, striking out seven and walking just one in suffering his first loss in eight starts.

The Reds finally broke through in the sixth when Nick Castellanos hammered a sinker deep into the seats in right to cut the Cubs’ lead to 2-1.

The Reds had a golden opportunity to at least tie the game in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out against reliever Rowan Wick. But Jonathan India struck out looking, and lefty Adam Morgan got Joey Votto to hit a grounder that shortstop Andrew Romine fielded and threw out Votto by a half-step.

–Field Level Media