McCoy: Cubs edge Reds to end 12-game losing streak

It was inevitable. The saying is, “You can’t win ‘em all,” and the opposite is, “You can’t lose ‘em all.”

The forlorn Chicago Cubs, losers of 12 straight, ended their long quest for the taste of victory, attaining it Tuesday night in Great American Ball Park, 2-1, over the Cincinnati Reds.

Entering the game, the Cubs led the National League with 33 blown leads. And the Reds led the league with 33 come-from-behind wins.

The Cubs grabbed an early 2-0 lead in this one against rookie Vladimir Gutierrez and the Reds were unable to overcome it and the Cubs held on for dear life.

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The Reds fell 8 1/2 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who shut out the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0.

Gutierrez was 5-0 over his previous seven starts and this loss was like his debut in Wrigley Field when he lost to the Cubs, 1-0, on David Bote’s home run.

Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the third when Gutierrez walked Rafael Ortega and he scored from first on Frank Schwindel’s double into the left field corner.

It became 2-0 in the sixth when University of Cincinnati product Ian Happ led off the inning with a home run into the right field seats, one of his three hits.

It appeared that Gutierrez had Happ struck out, but umpire Jordan Baker called it a ball. Happ whacked the next pitch for a home run.

“On that home run pitch, the pitch before I took a look at the video afterwards and it looked like that slider was in for a strike,” said Gutierrez. “If it weren’t for that pitch, I would have been out of there.”

In 6 1/3 innings, Gutierrez gave up two runs, nine hits, walked one and struck out seven, another quality start.

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“He had a lot of easy outs, low pitch count. . .with his stuff he can be pretty creative with getting outs,” said Reds manager David Bell. “He is not real predictable, has a lot of different pitches he can use, locates well, throws strikes, all his stuff is good. He competes, just a pretty complete picture there. That’s what he has shown us and continues to do.”

The Reds cut the lead in half in the sixth on a two-out solo home run by Nick Castellanos, his 21st home run.

The Reds faced Chicago’s best and one of the National League’s best in 14-game winner, now 15, Kyle Hendricks.

He held the Reds hitless until Kyle Farmer singled with one out in the fifth. Hendricks had issued a walk to Mike Moustakas, putting runners on second and first.

But Shogo Akyiyama took a full-count called strike three and Gutierrez grounded to second.

Castellanos has struggled to find his timing since coming off the injured list, was the only Reds hitter to do damage to Hendricks.

“Hendricks is a good pitcher, man, especially when he’s on and has command of his change-up,” said Castellanos. “He was hitting the corners with his fastball, two-seamers front and back over the plate and off the hands of righties. You win some, you lose some.”

Hendricks broke two Castellanos bats his first two times up before the home run.

Of his battle to get back to where he was before his wrist injury, Castellanos said, “Getting in synch, it’s just a process. It starts by not being so hard on yourself.

“I want to come back and be better than I was when I got hurt, right off the bat,” he added. “And sometimes you just have to be patient with yourself and allow yourself to catch up to the speed of the game. You can’t look for results satisfaction because that’s kind of a trap.”

The Reds best chance surfaced in the seventh when they filled the bases with one out. But Jonathan India took a called strike three and Joey Votto grounded to second on the first pitch.

“We had the top of our order up right there,” said Bell. “Those guys have come through time and time again all year. Their relievers right there (Rowan Wick, Adam Morgan) made good pitches when they needed to.”

Cubs reliever Codi Heuer retired the final six Reds in order and the long, long losing streak was over.

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