CINCINNATI — The Chicago Cubs had ample opportunities to end their losing streak.
As has happened too often this season, the Cubs couldn’t deliver enough timely hits with runners on base. Despite taking an early lead, the Cubs couldn’t hold on in a 3-2 loss Saturday to the Cincinnati Reds.
It was their eighth straight defeat, and they dropped into third place in the NL Central, a half-game behind the Reds.
The Cubs will try to avoid another series sweep against a division rival Sunday when they conclude their 10-game trip.
The Cubs left nine on base and finished 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They took a 1-0 lead on a passed ball in the second that allowed Rafael Ortega to score from third and added another the next inning on Kris Bryant’s 16th homer of the season.
Right-hander Adbert Alzolay bounced back from a tough outing against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He went seven innings, tying his season high, and cruised for most of the day. Solo homers from Joey Votto and Tyler Naquin were the only damage off Alzolay until the seventh. He had to work around runners on second and third after a leadoff walk and double.
He couldn’t get through it unscathed — Eugenio Suarez drove in what became the winning run on a one-out single — but Alzolay was able to get through the seventh maintaining the one-run deficit.