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Cubs get past Reds, 8-5

CHICAG — Aramis Ramirez is giving the Chicago Cubs the clutch hitting they have lacked, even while he is in pain.

Ramirez homered to snap a sixth-inning tie and had a pair of two-out, run-producing hits in his most productive game since coming off the disabled list, leading the Cubs to an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

“The good two-out hitting,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said when asked what he missed most during Ramirez’s absence. “He knows how to drive in runs. He’s done it his whole career. He’s a good, professional bat in the middle part of your lineup. We’ve missed that for a long, long time here. Get him going and it really helps.”

It took time to get Ramirez going. In his first 11 games after missing nearly two months due to a separated shoulder, Ramirez was batting .190 with two RBI. But he followed Wednesday’s two-hit, two-RBI game at Philadelphia with Friday’s four-hit performance.

“It’s there, and it’s going to be there,” Ramirez, who winces after some swings, said of his shoulder pain. “I’m going to have to deal with it.”

He has driven in 100-plus runs six times. That bat is good medicine for an ailing Cubs offense that entered Friday batting .224 with two outs and runners in scoring position.

“I’m the cleanup hitter, and I’m here to drive in runs in key situations,” Ramirez said. “Any time you lose your cleanup hitter, it’s going to affect everybody. We have a great team. The second half we’re playing pretty good, and hopefully we keep going.”

Friday’s Game

Cubs 8, Reds 5

Cincinnati Chicago Cubs

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Dickrsn rf 4 0 0 0 Fukdm cf 4 2 2 0

Taveras cf 5 0 2 2 Theriot ss 5 1 1 1

Votto 1b 5 0 1 0 D.Lee 1b 5 1 2 2

BPhllps 2b 4 0 1 0 ArRmr 3b 5 1 4 3

Encrnc 3b 3 0 1 0 Bradly rf 4 0 1 0

Gomes lf 4 0 0 0 ASorin lf 4 0 1 0

Hanign c 4 2 3 0 Marml p 0 0 0 0

AlGnzlz ss 4 1 0 0 Gregg p 0 0 0 0

Harang p 1 1 1 3 Fontent 2b 3 1 1 1

ARosls ph 1 0 0 0 JeBakr ph 1 1 1 1

Masset p 0 0 0 0 ABlanc 2b 0 0 0 0

Herrer p 0 0 0 0 K.Hill c 3 0 1 0

Burton p 0 0 0 0 R.Wells p 2 0 0 0

HrstnJr ph 1 1 1 0 MHffpr ph 1 0 0 0

Heilmn p 0 0 0 0

RJhnsn lf 0 1 0 0

Totals 36 5 10 5 Totals 37 8 14 8

Cincinnati 030 000 002 — 5

Chicago Cubs 111 001 04x — 8

E—Fontenot (6). DP—Chicago 1. LOB—Cincinnati 7, Chicago 9. 2B—Encarnacion (5), Hairston Jr. (18), Fukudome (21), Ar.Ramirez 2 (6). HR—Harang (1), D.Lee (19), Ar.Ramirez (6), Fontenot (8), Je.Baker (1). SB—Dickerson (8), B.Phillips (15), Theriot (14). S—Harang, Fukudome.

IP H R ER BB SO

Cincinnati

Harang L,5-11 6 9 4 4 1 6

Masset 1 1 0 0 1 1

Herrera 2-3 1 2 2 1 1

Burton 1-3 3 2 2 0 0

Chicago Cubs

R.Wells W,6-4 6 7 3 3 1 5

Heilman H,8 1 0 0 0 0 1

Marmol H,22 1 0 0 0 0 1

Gregg 1 3 2 2 1 1

WP—Masset. Umpires—Home, Mike Reilly; First, Chuck Meriwether; Second, Laz Diaz; Third, Eric Cooper. T—2:57. A—41,406 (41,210).