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updated: 8/11/2012 6:44 PM

Cubs waste strong effort by Wood, fall to Reds

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  • Chicago Cubs' Travis Wood pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in Chicago.

      Chicago Cubs' Travis Wood pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in Chicago.

 
Associated Press

Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run double in the eighth and the Cincinnati Reds rallied to a 4-2 win over the Cubs Saturday afternoon.

After Drew Stubbs doubled and Brandon Phillips singled off Cubs reliever James Russell (5-1), Ludwick looped a pitch down the left-field line and into the corner.

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The comeback made a winner of Bronson Arroyo (8-7), who held the Cubs to two runs and five hits over eight innings. Arroyo gave up both runs early, but settled down to improve to 5-0 in his last seven starts at Wrigley Field.

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman continued his recent dominance by setting down three straight in the ninth and converting his 27th save, including his last 19 straight. Since Chapman last blew a save on June 24, he's thrown 20 2-3 scoreless innings and struck out 44.

David DeJesus had a two-run single for Chicago.

Wilson Valdez's RBI single scored Chris Heisey as the Reds tacked on a run to complete their three-run, eighth-inning rally. Todd Frazier drove in a run and reached base three times.

Cubs starter Travis Wood held Cincinnati to five hits and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts but finished with a no decision despite leaving with a 2-1 lead. Wood, who had posted an 8.78 ERA in losing his previous five starts.

David DeJesus provided the offense for Chicago, stroking a two-out, two run single off Arroyo in the second inning.

Russell allowed three runs and five hits in the eighth and the Cubs lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

The first-place Reds have won two straight after snapping a five-game losing streak on Friday. Cincinnati's 21-8 mark since the All-Star break is the best in the majors.

After DeJesus singled up the middle just past Arroyo to plate the Cubs' runs in the second, the Reds' right retired 12 straight hitters, a streak snapped by Starlin Castro's single in the sixth.

Chicago's Luis Valbuena began the second-inning rally with a double, breaking out of a 6 for 45 slump dating to July 19.

Despite his recent struggles, Wood was sharp in his first appearance against his former team. He was dealt to the Cubs during the offseason for LHP Sean Marshall after going 11-10 over two seasons with Cincinnati.

The only run against Wood came in the fourth when Phillips doubled into the left-field corner with one out. Frazier plated him with a single, cutting the Cubs' lead to one run. Wood stranded the potential tying run on third by striking out Heisey and getting Valdez on fielder's choice

NOTES: 1B Joey Votto returned to Cincinnati to have cartilage removed from his surgically repaired left knee. Manager Dusty Baker said Votto felt soreness in his knee after participating in a sliding drill. The 2010 NL MVP was injured while sliding into third base on July 17. . Baker said slumping OF Jay Bruce will be back in the Cincinnati lineup on Sunday. Bruce is 1 for his last 16 with seven strikeouts. . The Cubs activated RHP Lendy Castillo from the disabled list and optioned LHP Scott Maine to Triple-A Iowa. . Chicago promoted Tim Wilken to a role as a special assistant to general manager Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein. Jaron Madison was hired from the San Diego organization to take Wilken's place as director of amateur scouting.

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