CINCINNATI (AP) Austin Jackson hit a three-run homer, Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double and the Chicago Cubs kept alive their slim hopes for home-field advantage in the wild-card game with a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Chris Denorfia also drove in a run and the Cubs overcame two errors to move within two games of idle Pittsburgh in the race for home field in Wednesday’s NL wild-card playoff game. Both teams have three to play – Chicago in Milwaukee and the Pirates against the Reds in Pittsburgh.
Joey Votto’s seventh-inning RBI single extended to 47 his streak of consecutive games in which he’s reached base at least once, the longest since Kevin Millar’s 52-game stretch in 2007. Votto’s streak is second-longest in Cincinnati franchise history to Pete Rose’s 48-game stretch in 1978, when he tied the NL record with a 44-game hitting streak.
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The Reds finished 0-7 on their last home stand of the season. They lost their last eight home games to close with a 34-47 home record, the worst at Great American Ball Park and the franchise worst since the 2001 team finished 27-54 in 2001. The Reds have lost 12 straight overall, matching the 1993 team for the franchise’s longest losing streak in 70 years. The 1945 Reds lost 13 consecutive games.
Thursday’s crowd of 26,352 pushed Cincinnati’s season total to 2,419,506, down 57,158 in a season during which the Reds hosted the All-Star Game from last season’s 2,476,664.
Jason Hammel (10-7) turned in five shutout innings to match his single-season career high in wins. He allowed five hits and zero walks to reach 10 wins for the fourth time. Hector Rondon, the sixth Cubs reliever, pitched the ninth for his 29th save.
Jackson, who drove in a career-high five runs in Chicago’s 10-3 win Wednesday, followed one-out walks by Addison Russell and Dexter Fowler in the third inning with his ninth homer of the season and first with the Cubs since being acquired from Seattle on Aug. 31.
Cubs: C Miguel Montero was given a day game off after catching Wednesday’s night game. Manager Joe Maddon said Montero also will be off Sunday, with veteran David Ross getting the start.
Reds: RHP Jon Moscot was to continue working out at Cincinnati’s Goodyear, Arizona, complex after completing a successful bullpen session Wednesday. Moscot is coming back from surgery in June for a dislocated left shoulder.
Cubs: They open a three-game series at Milwaukee with RHP and Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta (21-6) making his final regular-season appearance.
Reds: RHP Keyvius Sampson (2-6) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in the first of a three-game series at Pittsburgh.