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updated: 4/18/2014 5:23 PM

Cubs bats remain ice cold in 4-1 loss

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  • Chicago Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio, right, strikes out swinging during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chicago, Friday, April  18, 2014. The Reds won 4-1.

      Chicago Cubs' Emilio Bonifacio, right, strikes out swinging during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chicago, Friday, April 18, 2014. The Reds won 4-1.

 
Associated Press

Alfredo Simon lowered his ERA to 0.86, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 Friday for their 16th win in their last 17 games at Wrigley Field.

Making his third start, Simon (2-1) allowed an unearned run in six-plus innings and sent the Cubs to their fifth straight loss. Simon is in the rotation while Mat Latos recovers from elbow and knee injuries.

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Jonathan Broxton pitched a hitless ninth for his second save in two tries, completing a six-hitter for the Reds, who stretched their winning streak to a season-best three.

Jeff Samardzija (0-2) gave up three runs -- one earned -- and six hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. He is 0-4 despite a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts since winning at San Diego on Aug. 24.

Chicago, last in the NL Central at 4-11, has given Samardzija just four runs of support while's been in the game during three starts this year.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips left in the middle of the third, two innings after he felt back spasms after he swung and missed a Samardzija pitch.

Cincinnati, which won last year's season series 14-5, went ahead on Billy Hamilton's RBI double in the fifth. The Reds m,ade it 3-0 in the sixth when Zack Cozart hit a bases-loaded grounder to third, and second baseman Emilio Bonifacio's relay for a double-play attempt went wide of first for an error that allowed Ryan Luwick to score from second. Ludwick had reached on catcher's interference by Welington Castillo.

Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single in the seventh, ending a 24-inning scoreless streak for the Cubs dating to Sunday's loss to St. Louis.

Cincinnati scored another run in the eighth on a wild pitch by Justin Grimm.

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