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Wrigley elements confound Cubs

– Dale Sveum watched his team swing the bats as well as it has all season.

In the end, all the Cubs got was another loss.

Chris Volstad allowed four runs in the first inning and the Cubs’ bats fell victim to the elements in a 9-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Friday to extend Chicago’s losing streak to six games.

Harsh winds and chilly temperatures didn’t slow Cincinnati’s offense as Drew Stubbs drove in three runs for the Reds, who won their 10,000th game in franchise history.

The Cubs fell to 3-11 on the year despite many hard-hit balls.

“We hit the heck out of the ball all day, right at people, and didn’t get nothing to show for it,” said Sveum, the Cubs’ first-year manager. “It was really nice to see because those conditions are what they are and there’s no relief from it out there.”

Winds were blowing in, gusting up to 27 mph, and the game-time temperature was 35 degrees with the wind chill.

“It’s more important that they understand once the weather warms up or you get somewhere else, a little better hitter’s parks than what we’re dealing with, things will turn out for the better,” Sveum added.

Bryan LaHair was the only one who found offensive success for the Cubs, with two hits and an RBI. He raised his average to .375 on the year and has base hits in every game he’s started.

“It was unbelievable,” he said of the conditions. “I think everybody hit at least two balls hard.”

Volstad (0-2) labored through a four-run, 41-pitch first inning. He gave up run-scoring singles to Joey Votto and Chris Heisey, and an RBI groundout to Willie Harris as the Reds batted around for the first time this season.

Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd didn’t help Volstad by committing errors in the inning, but only one of the runs was unearned.

CARDINALS 4, PIRATES 1: In Pittsburgh, Lance Lynn allowed only an inside-the-park homer to Alex Presley in seven innings to lead St. Louis.

Presley led off the bottom of the first with a drive off the top of the center field fence.

Lynn (3-0) gave up four hits.

NATIONALS 2, MARLINS 0: In Washington, Ross Detwiler and three relievers combined on a four-hitter, and Rick Ankiel homered and had three hits as Washington ended Miami’s four-game winning streak.

GIANTS 4, METS 3, 10 in.: In New York, Hector Sanchez hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning off Frank Francisco, and San Francisco came back after blowing the lead in the ninth to win.

With closer Brian Wilson out for the year following elbow surgery, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez combined to allow the Mets to send the game to extra innings on Josh Thole’s tying single.

DODGERS 3, ASTROS 1: In Houston, Matt Kemp hit his eighth home run of the season, one of his three hits, and drove in two runs to lead Los Angeles.

ROCKIES 4, BREWERS 3: In Milwaukee, Michael Cuddyer hit a tiebreaking RBI single off closer John Axford in the ninth inning for Colorado.

Norichika Aoki hit an inside-the-park home run for Milwaukee in the fourth.