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Reds cool Cubs behind Castillo's strong start

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- One day after scoring 15 runs, the Cubs had trouble mustering anything against the Reds and rookie Luis Castillo, who threw six shutout innings in a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night. Joey Votto scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Scooter Gennett in the eighth inning and Billy Hamilton added an RBI single in the ninth to help the Reds even the four-game series.

Despite the loss, the Cubs hold a 1 1/2-game lead in the National League Central over the Cardinals and Brewers.

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CHICAGO -- One day after scoring 15 runs, the Cubs had trouble mustering anything against the Reds and rookie Luis Castillo, who threw six shutout innings in a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night. Joey Votto scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Scooter Gennett in the eighth inning and Billy Hamilton added an RBI single in the ninth to help the Reds even the four-game series.

Despite the loss, the Cubs hold a 1 1/2-game lead in the National League Central over the Cardinals and Brewers.

View Full Game Coverage

"It was a nice team win," Gennett said. "There were a lot of little things that were involved in that ballgame that can get overlooked. Overall, it was a good game."

Video: CIN@CHC: Iglesias K's Avila to lock down the save

This was a pitchers' duel for six innings between Castillo and Chicago's Kyle Hendricks. It was an impressive outing by the Reds' rookie, who held the Cubs to two hits, both singles, over six scoreless.

"Give Castillo credit," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I've not seen that kid before -- he's got a great arm. He doesn't have a good arm, he has a great arm. ... They pitched well -- sometimes the other team does, and they did."

Young Castillo inspiring confidence in Reds

The Reds finally broke through in the eighth against reliever Pedro Strop. With one out, Votto walked for the third time in the game and reached third on Adam Duvall's single. Votto then scored on Gennett's fly ball that right fielder Jason Heyward snared on the run in the gap.

Video: CIN@CHC: Gennett plates Votto on sacrifice fly

The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth but Raisel Iglesias struck out rookie Victor Caratini to end the inning. Hamilton's RBI single in the ninth turned out to be huge for the Reds as the Cubs tried to rally against Iglesias as he tried for a five-out save.

"I kind of got discouraged on the second pitch. I thought it was a ball," Hamilton said. "I stuck in there that at-bat and had enough confidence to hit with two strikes in that situation, and I ended up putting the ball in play, which is what I wanted to do and it ended up being a big-time run for us."

Video: CIN@CHC: Hamilton lifts an RBI single to left field

Pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber led off the Chicago ninth with a single after a nine-pitch at-bat and moved up on Heyward's single. Both advanced on Javier Baez's sacrifice and Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI single. But Iglesias struck out Jon Jay and Alex Avila to end the game for his 21st save in 22 chances, and his ninth of more than one inning.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
R-E-L-I-E-F:
Hendricks walked Eugenio Suarez to open the seventh and gave up a single to Jesse Winker before he was lifted for Carl Edwards Jr. The right-hander struck out Tucker Barnhart, pinch-hitter Patrick Kivlehan, and Hamilton to escape the mess. The key pitch may have been the strike-three curve that got Kivlehan.

Video: CIN@CHC: Edwards Jr. K's Hamilton, side in the 7th

"I was making pretty good pitches there in the seventh, but the leadoff walk was terrible," Hendricks said.

Speed bump: The Cubs had a chance in the seventh when rookie Caratini reached on an infield single off reliever Michael Lorenzen and advanced to third on Albert Almora Jr.'s single to left. Almora was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit. Heyward then lined out to Gennett at second base, and Lorenzen got Baez to ground out to Suarez at third to end the inning.

Video: CIN@CHC: Lorenzen gets inning-ending out from Baez

QUOTABLE
"You get to the closer and he's facing a strictly left-handed-hitting lineup. There's a lot of challenges with that. They don't run a whole lot of guys up there that aren't extremely reputable players. Very few guys that don't make you a little nervous up at the plate. They created an opportunity, and we were able to withstand it." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on Iglesias closing out the game

ON-BASE MACHINE
Votto drew a walk with one out and one on in the first, and with one out in the sixth, he walked again, marking the 20th consecutive game in which he has reached base safely at least twice. That's one shy of Ted Williams' 1948 record of 21 consecutive games. More >>

Video: CIN@CHC: Votto reaches twice in 20th straight game

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Hendricks did not give up a run in a start for the third time this season and the first time since May 5, when he did so against the Yankees. Since returning from the disabled list, he has a 2.00 ERA in five starts. More >>

Video: CIN@CHC: Hendricks holds Reds scoreless at Wrigley

• Hamilton stole his Major League leading 50th base of the season in the ninth inning. He became the 25th player in the modern era to steal 50-plus bases in at least four seasons, and the 14th to do so in four straight years. The last Reds player to do it was Joe Morgan, who had five straight seasons of 50 or more steals from 1972-76.

Video: CIN@CHC: Hamilton races to second for his 50th steal

Votto throws foul ball onto Wrigley roof

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
With one out in the Chicago sixth, Kris Bryant hit a grounder that deflected off Castillo to Gennett, who threw to Votto at first. Bryant was called out but the Cubs challenged the ruling. After a review, the call stood.

Video: CIN@CHC: Gennett throws out Bryant, call stands

WHAT'S NEXT
Reds: In the third game of the four-game series, at 8:05 p.m. ET Wednesday, Homer Bailey will make the start for Cincinnati. Bailey has struggled for consistency since returning but is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in eight career starts at Wrigley Field. He hasn't pitched at Chicago since July 10, 2014.

Cubs: John Lackey, who will start Wednesday, has been on a roll in the second half. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. He has given up 2.09 home runs per nine innings this season, the highest rate in the Majors. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field. Preview >>

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Luis Castillo, Scooter Gennett, Billy Hamilton, Kyle Hendricks, Raisel Iglesias, Joey Votto, Jesse Winker