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updated: 4/23/2013 12:01 AM

Cubs fall to Reds 5-4 in 13 innings

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  • A basehit by the Reds' Devin Mesoraco falls between Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and right fielder Nate Schierholtz in the third inning Mondayin Cincinnati.

    A basehit by the Reds' Devin Mesoraco falls between Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney and right fielder Nate Schierholtz in the third inning Mondayin Cincinnati.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Even on a good night, the Cubs can't win a close one.

Jay Bruce hit a tying double and scored on Cesar Izturis' two-out single in the 13th inning Monday, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory that gave Chicago its fourth straight loss.

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in the top of the 13th off Alfredo Simon (2-1) for a 4-2 Cubs lead. Chicago played one of its best all-around games, but once again the Cubs couldn't pull one out in the late innings.

"It's just frustrating for those guys," manager Dale Sveum said.

Michael Bowden (0-1) gave up a single by Xavier Paul, and Brandon Phillips hit a double to right field that landed just out of the reach of diving outfielder Dave Sappelt, leaving runners on second and third.

"The ball was in the air a long time," Sveum said. "He got caught playing too deep or didn't get a good jump on that ball."

Bruce followed with a double that tied it and moved up to third on Todd Frazier's groundout. Izturis lined a single past diving shortstop Starlin Castro, sending the Reds to their seventh victory in eight games on their homestand.

Long games are the norm in Cincinnati, where the Reds have gone extra innings four times and had another game suspended overnight because of rain. They've played 13 innings three times.

"I'm worn out from thinking -- double-switching, trying to keep the pitchers in as long as we could," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That was a good one to win -- a great one. That's one of the best comebacks I've seen."

The Cubs? Numb again.

They've dropped seven of eight and 12 of 15, leaving them in last place in the NL Central at 5-13. They've become accustomed to losing close ones -- all 18 of their games have been decided by four runs or fewer.

"It's hard to be down," Cubs starter Travis Wood said. "It's not like we're getting blown out every game. We're right there. We've just got to figure out a way to pull them out."

The game matched two starters who recently went head-to-head for the fifth spot in Cincinnati's rotation. Both gave up a pair of runs and didn't figure in the decision.

Wood, who was Cincinnati's second-round draft pick in 2005, couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in the seventh. Bruce led off with his first homer of the season and Chris Heisey singled. Jack Hannahan came off the bench and hit a triple off James Russell -- his fifth pinch hit of the season -- to tie it.

Wood was traded to the Cubs along with two minor leaguers for reliever Sean Marshall after the 2011 season, when the Reds chose to keep right-hander Mike Leake at the back of their rotation. Leake, who was Cincinnati's top pick in the June 2009 draft, had never pitched against Wood before.

David DeJesus opened the game with a home run on Leake's third pitch, the 13th leadoff homer of his career. Castro's RBI single in the third inning made it 2-0 and gave him a 14-game hitting streak, matching the best of his career. It's the longest active streak in the majors.

Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart was back in the lineup after missing one game with an injured index finger. He got hit by a ball while trying to bunt on Saturday and initially thought it was broken. X-rays were negative.

Yet another Reds player got hurt Monday, though.

Reliever Jonathan Broxton left in the eighth inning after knocking down Nate Schierholtz's liner up the middle. A trainer examined Broxton's right hand, and the pitcher flexed it several times before leaving the game. X-rays were negative.

The defending NL Central champions have been hit hard by injuries. Marshall, top starter Johnny Cueto, cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick and catcher Ryan Hanigan are on the disabled list.

Shin-Soo Choo kept getting hit -- and getting on base -- at a phenomenal pace. Wood hit him in the right arm with a pitch in the sixth. Choo has been hit by pitches 10 times already, a Reds record for one month. It's the most times a major leaguer has been hit by a pitch in a month since Houston's Craig Biggio was plunked 10 times in August 1997.

Choo has reached base safely in 14 of his 18 plate appearances over the last three games.

NOTES: Marshall started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. He hasn't pitched this season because of shoulder tendinitis. ... Castro also hit in 14 games from the end of the 2011 season through the start of 2012. ... The Reds have fanned at least 10 batters in five straight games for the first time in modern franchise history.

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