3 - 4 Final
  for this game

Cubs slip past Reds

Sep 5, 2011 - 11:48 PM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Aramis Ramirez drove in a pair of runs and Matt Garza pitched into the eighth inning as Chicago slipped by Cincinnati, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game series from Wrigley Field.

Alfonso Soriano knocked in a run and Starlin Castro scored twice for the Cubs, who have won two in a row after losing three straight.

Garza (8-10) allowed six hits and one earned run while fanning eight and walking three in 7 2/3 innings, posting his third win in four starts. Carlos Marmol turned in an uneventful ninth to earn his 32nd save.

"He's the kind of guy that thinks he can close it out," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of Garza. "You give him a hitter like Bruce and see how he handles that situation. Those are the kind of things down the road that are going to be good for the organization. You want that guy to make a statement from time to time. "

Yonder Alonso picked up two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who have lost six of their last eight.

Dontrelle Willis (0-5) worked seven full frames in defeat, charged for six hits and four runs, while walking five and fanning eight.

"I like the way I'm pitching but it just takes one inning of one outing," Willis said of losing in his 200th career start. "You have to stay strong, stay positive and keep throwing the way I know I can for this ballclub."

The Cubs moved ahead in the fifth, scoring three times with two outs. Castro began the run with a single and Johnson followed with a ground-rule double, then Ramirez singled both men home. Jeff Baker doubled then Soriano was given a free pass, then Ramirez came in on a wild pitch with Marlon Byrd at the plate for a 4-1 game.

Cincinnati picked up single runs in the seventh (Devin Mesoraco groundout) and eighth (Joey Votto reaching on a Castro error to score Brandon Phillips) to climb within 4-3, but Marmol retired the side in order on three straight groundouts to preserve the one-run margin.

Drew Stubbs worked a one-out walk in the first, moved to second on a Jay Bruce single then scored on Alonso's two-out base hit.

Three walks in the Chicago fourth preceded Soriano's RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.

Game Notes

Garza picked up his first win in four starts against the Reds this season...Chicago improved to 31-40-2 all-time on Labor Day at Wrigley Field...The Cubs activated pitcher Andrew Cashner from the 60-day disabled list...Willis hasn't recorded a victory since June 5, 2010, with Arizona against Colorado, going 0-6 with 10 no-decisions since then.

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  • Jay Bruce walked. Runners on first and second with two outs and Yonder Alonso due up.

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  • Devin Mesoraco grounded out short to first scored Yonder Alonso. None on with two outs and Paul Janish due up.

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  • Aramis Ramirez singled to left scored Starlin Castro and Reed Johnson. Runner on first with two outs and Jeff Baker due up.

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  • Yonder Alonso singled to center scored Drew Stubbs. On the play, Jay Bruce advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Juan Francisco due up.

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