video thumbnail

SF@CIN: Arroyo limits Giants over five solid frames

The Cubs and Reds were happy to flip their calendars to May, but Tuesday's rainout will make the clubs wait another 24 hours before beginning a new month of play.

Cincinnati (11-11) used a 7-3 stretch at the end of April to climb back to .500, a rise due to the efforts of the club's pitching staff. Reds hurlers have posted a 2.73 ERA over that span.

"We're in the right direction," said right fielder Jay Bruce. "We're going to be just fine. We can't make a true judgment after one month. We're in a fine position. Our hitting is coming around. Our pitching is doing well. That's really all you can ask for."

The Reds' offense struggled during April. The club hit just .240 as a team and averaged just fewer than four runs per game.

The Cubs faced similar offensive challenges. Chicago clubbed just nine home runs during April, the lowest total in the National League and the fewest for a month in franchise history since August 1981.

Manager Dale Sveum hopes his club's bats heat up with the weather.

"New month, obviously, and the weather warming up and things like that will play into hitting more home runs," Sveum said. "Would we have more than we have now if the weather was different and the wind wasn't blowing in [at Wrigley Field]? Of course we would. At the beginning, we came across a lot of good pitching, and now it's leveled off. All that comes into play."

Either way, the schedule shows one month in the books and five more ahead.

"One month down and five to go, and hopefully some more," said Reds skipper Dusty Baker. "Hopefully now that we struggled to get back to .500, we can put some distance on .500."

Cubs: Samardzija gets extra rest
The Cubs had already given Jeff Samardzija an extra day of rest. Tuesday's rainout pushes the right-hander back yet another day.

Chicago is being careful with Samardzija, who is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA in his first season as a starter. He last pitched on April 24.

"Any time we can use that to our advantage, and see if we can monitor the pitch counts and innings, it's just going to benefit him in the long run," Sveum said.

Reds: Arroyo aiming to continue strong start
• Bronson Arroyo, who will pitch Wednesday, has offered three consecutive solid efforts but just one win to show for it. Overall, the right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four outings.

• Bruce earned National League Player of the Week honors on Monday after batting .476 with four home runs and 10 RBIs last week. It's the fourth time he's taken home the honor.

"It's obviously great," Bruce said. "I'd like to extend this week as long as I can and continue to play well and just be consistent, really."

Overall, Bruce is batting .296 with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

Worth noting
• The Cubs' team batting average of .237 was its lowest in April since the 1997 club hit .228 in the first month.

• Four players -- Adam Dunn, Ted Kluszewski, Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Jr. -- hold the Reds' record for consecutive games with a home run, with five. Bruce has homered in four straight.

• Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro leads the Major Leagues with 10 stolen bases.

MLB.com Comments