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Sweeney, Valbuena homer as Cubs blank Reds
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs did something Monday they had not accomplished in more than five years -- shut out the Cincinnati Reds in a 2-0 victory over their division rival.
Staked to an early lead via solo home runs by Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena, Travis Wood (9-11) limited the Reds to six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over the first seven innings.
Pedro Strop and Kevin Gregg each tossed a scoreless frame to complete the whitewash, Chicago's first over Cincinnati since Aug. 19, 2008.
Bronson Arroyo (13-11) was a hard-luck loser, allowing two runs -- both on homers -- and seven hits in his seven-inning start.
The loss to the last-place Cubs comes after the Reds went a surprising 6-1 against the first-place Cardinals and Dodgers last week. They trail St. Louis by two games in the NL Central race.
Arroyo has been plagued by home runs throughout his career, and it was no different Monday as Sweeney and Valbuena each took him deep to right field in the second and third innings, respectively.
Wood escaped what jams he faced by keeping the Reds hitless in seven chances with runners in scoring position while he was on the hill.
Chicago again had chances in the eighth and ninth but came away empty.
The first walk of the game was issued by Strop, who lost Brandon Phillips after being ahead 0-2 in the count to start the eighth. Strop, though, retired the dangerous trio of Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier in succession to keep Cincinnati off the board.
Gregg withstood Zack Cozart's one-out double in the ninth to post his 31st save of the year.
Wood came in 0-4 with a 4.15 ERA in six career starts against the Cincinnati ... The Reds had scored at least one run in 86 straight games against the Cubs ... Arroyo has given up 24 home runs this year -- tied for the second most in the NL ... Cozart extended his hitting streak to 14 games ... Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch in the third inning. He has been plunked 25 times this year, surpassing Jason LaRue's club record of 24 set in 2004 ... Chicago started an 11-game road trip, its longest since the 2004 campaign ... Cubs still trails the season series, 13-4.
09/09 22:16:28 ET