CHICAGO (AP) — David Bote homered, Adbert Alzolay wriggled out of several jams while pitching into the sixth inning and the surging Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Friday.
Bote connected leading off the fifth to spoil Reds starter Vladimir Gutiérrez’s major league debut to help the Cubs win for the 10th time in 12 games even though they managed just three hits.
Alzolay (3-4) wriggled out of several jams on a chilly, soggy and windy afternoon. He threw 103 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander gave up five hits, struck out six and walked three after issuing none in his previous three starts.
Alzolay exited with runners on first and second in the sixth after Max Schrock doubled with two out and Jonathan India walked. Andrew Chafin struck out pinch-hitter Eugenio Suárez to end that threat and dodged a first-and-second jam in the seventh when Tyler Stephenson grounded into a double play.
Tommy Nance retired all three batters in the eighth. Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth on his 33rd birthday for his 12th save in 14 chances, and the Cubs improved to 17-7 in May.
Nick Castellanos singled twice, extending the majors’ longest active hitting streak to 14 games. But the Reds were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 in losing for the eighth time in 11 games.
Gutiérrez (0-1) went five innings, allowing one run and two hits. He struck out three and walked two.
The 25-year-old Cuban received an 80-game suspension last June after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. But he got his chance on Friday because Cincinnati had an opening in the rotation with Wade Miley sidelined by a sprained left foot.