for this game

Harang takes hill for slumping Reds

Sep 24, 2006 - 2:55 PM Chicago Cubs (63-92) at Cincinnati (75-79) 1:15 pm EDT

CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- The struggling Cincinnati Reds once had the lead in the National League wild card race. Now that's a thing of the past.

The Reds prepare for battle against the Chicago Cubs in the third game of their four-game series on Sunday.

On August 22, Cincinnati held a two-game advantage in the NL wild card but has since gone a dismal 9-19 and now trail the Philadelphia Phillies (81-73) by six games.

Aaron Harang (14-11, 3.91 ERA) will try and get the Reds back on track. Harang recorded his first win in over a month Tuesday, allowing four runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings at Houston.

The 6-7 righthander is 4-1 with a 4.64 ERA in eight career starts when facing the Cubs. Harang's lone defeat against Chicago came in the season opener on April 3 when he was hammered for six earned runs and nine hits in five frames.

Cubs rookie Juan Mateo (1-3, 4.38) seeks to snap a personal three-game losing streak. In his last start, Mateo lasted only three scoreless innings in a 4-0 loss to the Reds on September 15.

Carlos Zambrano tossed seven effective frames and homered and John Mabry had three RBI for Chicago, which ended a three-game losing streak with Saturday's 11-4 triumph.

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