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Cubs’ bats again struggle in loss

– The Cubs’ run-scoring problems continued on Wednesday, which didn’t help Chris Volstad’s cause to end a 10-month winless drought.

David Freese homered and Lance Lynn threw eight strong innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon.

Volstad (0-3) threw six solid innings in his start for the Cubs, retiring St. Louis in order during four of them. But he’s still 0-8 in 15 starts since July 10, 2011. Freese’s two-run blast in the sixth capped a three-run, two-out rally against Volstad.

“One swing, two outs,” Volstad said. “You’ve got to be able to close those innings out.”

Bryan LaHair homered to lead off the fourth for Chicago’s only run. LaHair has four of Chicago’s seven home runs this season, the lowest total in the majors.

REDS 4, GIANTS 2: In Cincinnati, Scott Rolen’s homer started a four-run rally in the seventh as the Reds swept San Francisco, which has dropped seven straight and 12 of 16 at Great American Ballpark.

ROCKIES 2-1, PIRATES 1-5: In Pittsburgh, Pedro Alvarez hit his second home run of the day and Charlie Morton pitched seven solid innings in Game 2 as the Pirates and Colorado split a doubleheader. Colorado broke up James McDonald’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning of the opener on its way to a win.

NATIONALS 7, PADRES 2: In San Diego, Jordan Zimmermann helped set a Washington record for the longest scoreless-innings streak for starters before Orlando Hudson homered for the Padres. Zimmermann held San Diego without a run for four innings to give Washington starters 26 straight scoreless frames.

PHILLIES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 2: In Phoenix, Cole Hamels pitched eight strong innings and also hit a two-run single to lead Philadelphia.

ASTROS 7, BREWERS 5: In Milwaukee, Jose Altuve had a career-best four hits, and J.D. Martinez had three RBI to lead Houston.

METS 5, MARLINS 1: In New York, David Wright hit a two-run homer to pass Darryl Strawberry as the Mets’ career RBI leader in a win over Miami.