Cubs 4, Reds 1


CHICAGO (AP) – A classic performance by Greg Maddux two days before his 40th birthday carried the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the sloppy-fielding Cincinnati Reds.

Working quickly and using an assortment of pitches and speeds, Maddux (2-0) allowed three hits and a run in six innings Wednesday to get his 320th career win.

One day after hitting six homers, the Reds had five errors – three by third baseman Edwin Encarnacion – to help Chicago build a 3-0 lead.

Cincinnati has another concern. Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. left the game in the fourth inning with stiffness in the back of his right knee. He walked in the first and struck out in the top of the fourth before Ryan Freel replaced him in center in the bottom of the inning.

Maddux didn’t surrender a hit until Encarnacion hit an RBI double after a two-out walk to Adam Dunn in the fourth. The Reds threatened in the sixth after two singles, but Maddux fanned Dunn and got Encarnacion on a fly ball to end the inning. Maddux finished with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Reds starter Brandon Claussen (0-1) gave up five hits and four runs, three earned, in five innings, but didn’t get much help in the field.

Cincinnati’s fielding woes started immediately.

Juan Pierre bunted for a hit leading off and after Derrek Lee walked with one out, they pulled off a double steal that prompted a wild throw into left field from Reds catcher Javier Valentin for the first error. That allowed Pierre to score and Lee to reach third where he came across on Michael Barrett’s sacrifice fly.

First baseman Scott Hatteberg dropped a throw to allow Pierre to reach leading off the third. One out later, Encarnacion made his second error of the game with a poor throw to first on Lee’s grounder.

After Pierre and Lee worked their second double steal of the game, Barrett hit a hard grounder to third that Encarnacion fumbled for his third error and the Reds’ third of the inning as Pierre scored for a 3-0 lead.

Encarnacion hit his first career grand slam in Cincinnati’s 9-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

Barrett, moved into the cleanup spot with Aramis Ramirez nursing a sore glut muscle, got his third RBI with a run-scoring single in the fifth.

Scott Eyre pitched two scoreless innings, getting Dunn on a grounder with two on in the eighth, and Ryan Dempster worked the ninth for his second save.

Notes: Cubs RF Jacque Jones sat out after straining a hamstring Tuesday and won’t play at the earliest until the Cubs begin a series in Pittsburgh on Friday. … Ramirez is day-to-day after straining the glut muscle during his final at-bat Tuesday. Neifi Perez replaced Ramirez at third and Angel Pagan took over for Jones in right.

AP-ES-04-12-06 1701EDT