CHICAGO (Ticker) -- The
still had trouble against
, but one key hit was all they needed.
Zambrano was matched by rookie
delivered an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning as the Reds posted a 1-0 victory over the
Zambrano entered the game with an 0.69 ERA in nine career appearances against Cincinnati. He baffled the Reds again but had no help from his offense, which was shut down by one of the National League's worst pitching staffs.
Hall tossed six innings in his third major league start, allowing just seven hits while striking out eight.
"A game like this gives me the confidence to pitch here in the major leagues," he said. "It tells me that if you pitch smart and you have good location, good command of your pitches, that you can win here."
"We got a great pitched ballgame today by Josh," Reds interim manager Dave Miley said. "He changed speeds beautifully, kept the Cubs off-balance all day. He really pitched his butt off."
(2-2) tossed a perfect eighth for the win and
retired the Cubs in order in the ninth for his ninth save.
Zambrano cruised through the first eight innings but was forced to endure a 13-minute delay in the top of the ninth as plate umpire Steve Rippley, who was hit with a foul ball in the sixth inning, left the game with a headache.
"When Steve went out, he said it was going to be about 10 minutes until the other umpire changed into the home plate gear," Chicago manager
said. "I know Zambranbo tried to stay loose, but it really did have an effect on him, you could see it. It was just a bad break for us."
Following the delay, Zambrano issued his only walk of the game to rookie
, who advanced on
's sacrifice and took third on a wild pitch before Branyan lined a single to center field.
"It's fun because the Cubs are battling to try to win the division," Branyan said. "A lot of people think we're going to lay down and let the contenders roll over us. We have a lot of good young players in here and I can tell you we're not going to lay down for anybody."
Zambrano (13-10) finished up for his third complete game of the season, but lost for just the second time in nine decisions since the All-Star break.
"Zambrano gave us what we needed today. That was a complete game to save our bullpen," Baker said. "It's just a shame the kid pitches a game like that and we don't get any runs."
Chicago lost for the fourth time in 14 games and fell two games behind first-place Houston in the NL Central Division.
Zambrano gave up a double to Hummel with one out in the first inning - the game's only extra-base hit - and hit D'Angelo Jimenez. He recovered to retire 12 consecutive batters before
reached on an infield single with two outs in the fifth.
, Zambrano did not allow a runner until Valent started the eighth with an infield hit.
Hall worked around a pair of singles in the first inning and got 10 straight batters - striking out five - before
hit a two-out single in the fourth.
The 22-year-old righthander loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth but escaped the jam after
grounded out. He struck out
with runners on first and second to end the seventh and left after throwing 108 pitches.
"The young kid pitched a great game," Sosa said. "He had good location on his pitches. He kept me off-balance and he kept our lineup off-balance. Nothing you can do about that."