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Cubs loss to Reds is first in past six games

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish, center, gets a visit from pitching coach Tommy Hottovy (68) during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish, center, gets a visit from pitching coach Tommy Hottovy (68) during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were shut down by Sonny Gray and two relievers Tuesday night, falling 4-2 to the Cincinnati Reds in a loss that hurt their playoff positioning.

Chicago had won five in a row, outscoring its opponents 59-18 during the stretch. But it managed just two runs against Gray (11-7) before Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias closed out the five-hitter for Cincinnati.

The Cubs (82-69) dropped into a tie for the second NL wild card with Milwaukee, which held off San Diego for a 3-1 victory. They also missed out on an opportunity to gain ground on NL Central-leading St. Louis, which lost 6-2 to Washington.

Rookie Aristides Aquino hit his 16th homer for Cincinnati (71-81), and Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez each drove in a run.

Gray struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. The All-Star right-hander improved to 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last nine outings.

Gray departed with runners on the corners, and Lorenzen struck out Nicholas Castellanos to end the inning.

Lorenzen then worked the eighth before Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.

Yu Darvish (6-7) struck out 13 in seven innings for Chicago, but was hurt by a slow start. Kyle Schwarber had three hits and two RBIs.