Scooter Gennett’s sacrifice fly drove in Joey Votto from third to break a scoreless tie in the eighth, and Billy Hamilton singled in a run in the ninth as the Cincinnati Reds edged the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Tuesday night.
After Votto walked for the third time and advanced to third on Adam Duvall’s single off reliever Pedro Strop (3-3), Gennett smacked a line drive to right that Jason Heyward caught on the run.
Cincinnati rookie Luis Castillo allowed only two hits over six innings as the Reds beat the Cubs for just the eighth time in the last 33 games. Chicago remained 1 ½ games ahead of both St. Louis and Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Ben Zobrist singled in a run in the ninth off Raisel Iglesias to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1, but Iglesias worked around three hits in the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances.
Both starters, Castillo and Kyle Hendricks, got no-decisions as they matched up in a crisp duel. Michael Lorenzen (7-2), pitched a scoreless seventh for the win in a game with just one extra-base hit — pinch hitter Jose Peraza’s ground-rule double in the ninth.
Votto was held hitless, but reached base at least twice for the 20th consecutive game. That extended his Reds club record, matched Barry Bonds for the longest streak since 2004 and is one game short of Ted Williams’ major-league record set in 1948.