wouldn't give in with men on base, kept the runners from scoring and, as usual, gave the
a chance to win.
''Typical Ted,'' catcher
said after Lilly pitched six scoreless innings in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the
. ''You know what he's going to do: locate, change speeds, keep them off-balance. That's why he wins so often.''
More often than most people might think. Not exactly a superstar, Lilly leads all National League pitchers with 44 victories
since the start of 2007, when he joined the Cubs.
''He's a great team guy, a great competitor, and we love having him around,'' Hill said. ''That's more important than the
accolades or all that stuff. Flying under the radar is a good thing.''
Lilly (12-8) allowed six hits, walked two and struck out seven in winning his seventh consecutive home decision. He is 8-1
with a 1.60 ERA in 12 starts at Wrigley Field.
The Reds had runners in scoring position in five of his six innings, but he worked out of trouble each time.
''Not to say it's not important when you're on the road because the games count just as much,'' said Lilly, who has a 4.62
road ERA. ''But it's definitely fun when you can get out of an inning with guys on, and the crowd gets into it.''
homered and singled twice and
had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs, who won the season series 10-5. They are 41-25 against NL Central opponents, 32-43
in games outside the division.
The Reds were officially eliminated from the NL Central race. They were 26-20 and 1 1/2 games out of first place on May 28
but are 38-58 since and have fallen 19 1/2 behind St. Louis. The Reds took the Central title in 1995, the first year of three-division
play, but haven't won it since.
''I hate to look at the (standings) in the paper and see an 'X' by us,'' Reds manager
(5-5) allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 1-3 innings, losing after a four-start stretch in which he went 3-0 with a 1.67
All the runs against him came in the fourth. Lee and
opened with singles. After
struck out, Hill lined an RBI single. Blanco followed with a soft single to right, scoring Ramirez and Hoffpauir.
The hits by Lee, Hill and Blanco all came on 0-2 pitches.
''He was throwing the ball as well as I've seen him,''
said of the 23-year-old Bailey. ''So it was kind of disheartening that he gave up three 0-2 hits. That's part of the learning
process on how to put them away when you have them eating out of your hand.''
Lee made it 4-0 with a homer off
in the seventh, his 32nd of the season. In 100 games since May 16, Lee is batting .330 with 29 home runs and 82 RBIs.
had an RBI groundout in the eighth.
Cincinnati avoided being shut out on
' two-run, ninth-inning single off
NOTES: Cubs manager
said the No. 5 spot in the batting order is ''what we need to solve more than anything else.'' RF
, signed for $30 million last offseason, has only 39 RBIs. He went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts Sunday, completing a 1-for-13
series in which he fanned six times and stranded 12 baserunners. After drawing a team-high 66 walks through August, he hasn't
had one in September. ... It was the last assignment at Wrigley for Dayton Daily News sportswriter Hal McCoy, a Hall of Famer
who has covered the Reds for 37 years and is retiring after the season. The Cubs gave him a No. 37 panel from the center-field
scoreboard. ... Cubs LF
on Tuesday will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which has bothered him much of the season.