Under normal circumstances, it is already tough to beat Bronson Arroyo.

And when the Chicago Cubs showed up in the game with cold bats, they just made it even tougher to win.  They suffered a 3-0 loss in this weekend three-game series opener against the Cincinnati Reds. 

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan’s home run in the second inning was all the Reds needed to have an easy victory.

Arroyo (12-6) was in cruise control from the start.  He only issued a walk to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto to spoil the first three perfect innings. 

Although he allowed back-to-back hits in the next two innings, the Cubs could not turn them into runs. 

In the fourth, with two Cubs on, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome hit into a fielder’s choice to end the fourth inning. 

In the fifth, with runners on second and third, Arroyo struck out Tom Gorzelanny, forced leftfielder Tyler Colvin to hit a fly ball, and struck out shortstop Starlin Castro swinging to retire the side.

In the seventh, Fukudome led off with a single, the last hit of the team in the game.  But he was caught stealing at second after Arroyo struck out second baseman Blake DeWitt.

Arroyo, replaced by reliever Arthur Rhodes in the eighth, only allowed five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. 

The Cubs’ last chance came in the ninth when Reds closer Francisco Cordero was on the mound.  Aramis Ramirez and Fukudome both reached bases with walks but DeWitt, representing the potential tying run, grounded out to Cordero to end the match.

Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny (6-6) pitched seven innings today but was outdueled; all three Reds’ runs were charged to him. 

He was in trouble right from the start of the game, hitting the second batter, centerfielder Chris Heisey, with a pitch and walking first baseman Joey Votto.  He fortunately got bailed out when third baseman Scott Rolen grounded out to first and leftfielder Jonny Gomes swung and missed on the third strike.

The Reds opened the scoring in the second inning. 

Rightfielder Jay Bruce reached first on a walk and Hanigan crushed Gorzelanny’s 0-1 changeup to left-center field for his third dinger of the season.

They added another run as insurance in the seventh; shortstop Paul Janish crossed home plate with Brandon Phillips’ ground ball single.

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