CHICAGO – David Bote hit a home run, and that’s all the Chicago Cubs needed to shut down the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Friday.
Bote narrowed his long ball in the fifth inning to ruin his Majors debut for Reds starter Vladimir Gutiérrez (0-1).
The Cubs placed just three balls in safety, but still posted a 10th win in their last 12 appearances. The Chicago lineup is 17-7 in May.
Adbert Alzolay (3-4) got out of several difficult situations and made 103 throws in five innings and two thirds of the work. His right hand allowed five hits and three rounds while striking out six strokes.
Alzolay left the game with runners in the first and second cushions after two outs in the sixth round. However, Andrew Chafin knocked out alternative hitter Eugenio Suarez to end the threat.
Chafin broke the same lock in the seventh inning when Tyler Stephenson compromised in a doubles game.
Tommy Nance struck out three strokes in the eighth inning, and Craig Kimbrel, who celebrated his 33rd birthday, was perfect on the ninth to get a 12th save on 14 occasions.
Reds player Nick Castellanos hit two singles to extend the stretch to 14 with at least one hit. This is the longest active stretch in the Majors.
However, the Reds were shut out in seven home record appearances with runners in scoring position, and they left 10 players on the path. The Cincinnati squad lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
Gutiérrez (0-1) threw in five innings, giving one run, two hits and two rounds.
The 25-year-old Cuban received a suspension of 80 games in June last year after testing positive for stanozolol, a drug used to improve performance. He was put in the rotation because Southpaw Wade Miley is sidelined with a sprained left foot.
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