Reds’ ugly road trip ends on a positive note

The Reds won ugly Sunday, beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3. The Reds made three errors and left 13 runners on base.

“It was which team played worse today,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We were fortunate to come away with the win. You take any win, but we’ve got to execute better.”

But the important thing was the victory gave the Reds series. They had not won a series since taking two of three from the Miami Marlins in the opening series of the year.

The Chicago series closed a 10-game road trip. The Reds lost five of six to start the trip.

“We had a lot games where we came up short and played extra innings,” Joey Votto said. “To come into Chicago, where we’ve had a lot of trouble in the past, it seems, and win the series, hopefully this gives us momentum going home.”

The offense has begun to come around.

“That was inevitable,” Votto said. “We don’t have a group of .200 hitters. We’ve got a group of professional hitters who have very good track records. It’s good to see Drew (Stubbs) swing the bat better.”

Aggressive Cueto strikes out seven in second win

–RHP Johnny Cueto went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked two, hit two batters and struck out a season-high seven. Cueto is 2-0 with 1.78 ERA. “I felt really good,” Cueto said. “I like the way I threw all the pitches because I was aggressive with every single pitch I threw today.”

–2B Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup again Sunday. Phillips continues to deal with a strained left hamstring. “I was hoping he’d play Friday and Saturday,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Then he’d have (Sunday) and (Monday) to get treatment. But we had that cold weather Friday. Yesterday, I thought he was swinging a little too hard. I saw him wince a couple of times. We’ve got to get this thing out of there. This weather isn’t helping.”

–RHP Nick Masset, on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, hasn’t resumed throwing. “Until he doesn’t have any discomfort in his exercises and things he’s doing, he’s not going to throw,” pitching coach Bryan Price said. “The last time that didn’t work out.” Masset had some lingering discomfort when he tried to throw a week and a half ago.

–LHP Sean Marshall worked the ninth for his first save against his old club. “It’s always fun to come back,” he said. “I got a lot of nice compliments from the fans here — that they missed me, that they wished they hadn’t traded me. But that’s baseball. But there’s a bunch of good folks here. I saw a lot of familiar faces, the grounds crew guys, the coaches over there.”

–LHP Aroldis Chapman walked a batter for the first time this year on Sunday. He had struck out 18 before the walk. He still has not allowed a run over 10 1/3 innings.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 — That’s how many errors the Reds made in Chicago. They had four in 13 games coming in.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “That’s what you call winning ugly.” — Manager Dusty Baker.

Roster Report


–INF Miguel Cairo (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 15.

–RHP Nick Masset (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He tried to resume throwing in mid-April but had to shut it down after feeling tenderness in his shoulder.

–RHP Ryan Madson (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He is out for the season.