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CHC@CIN: Simon fans eight, earns win No. 12 vs. Cubs

After losing nine of 10 games to start the season's second half, the Reds received an early boost from the offense and a strong pitching effort Tuesday to carry them to a series-evening shutout victory against the D-backs.

There is hope from the Reds that in Wednesday's rubber-match, Alfredo Simon might return to form, too.

The right-hander posted a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts during the first half of the season, but has gone 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in his first two starts out of the break while not pushing past the fifth inning in either appearance.

"He's the one guy that really didn't have a lull in his season," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He didn't have a stretch where he had two or three games in a row where he struggled, and probably to a man, the rest of the guys have outside of [Mat] Latos because he hasn't been here all that long. So I'm not concerned about it."

Simon will be opposed by D-backs starter Wade Miley, who is coming off one of his worst starts of the season. Miley walked three batters in the first inning last Friday against the Phillies, eventually surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings.

"I actually felt alright, but I just couldn't command the ball," Miley said afterward. "I had no feel for the fastball at all and the breaking ball was not very good either. Just kind of bouncing everything and pulling off of everything. I just didn't have it tonight. That one's on me."

While the Reds have struggled to start the second half, they inched within five games of first-place Milwaukee in fourth place in the National League Central with 56 games remaining.

D-backs: Schultz recalled to bolster D-backs' bullpen

The D-backs promoted Bo Schultz on Tuesday to help their overworked bullpen while demoting outfielder Alfredo Marte to Triple-A Reno.

Over the previous five days, the D-backs' starting rotation had turned in a few short outings. And on top of that, the D-backs played a 15-inning game against the Reds on Monday night, further taxing the bullpen.

Schultz tossed two perfect innings upon his arrival Tuesday.

"He's pitched out of the bullpen before," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're interested and anxious to see how this change in environment might affect his development. This makes a lot of sense for what we need."

Reds: Chapman leaves his fellow teammate in awe

Aroldis Chapman has time and time against impressed out of the Reds' bullpen with his high heat, but Monday's performance was on another level.

The right-hander touched 104 mph with a fastball when he struck out the side in the ninth inning against the D-backs and hit 103 mph five times. Neither was enough to match his 105 mph against the Padres on Sept. 24, 2010, but the barrage of high heat continued to garner awe.

"Some are chosen; some people came to this game to make history," said Brayan Pena, who once faced Chapman in Spring Training. "Some people came to this game to leave their prints forever in the game and what we're watching, I believe, in my humble opinion, is one of those, especially with the streak of appearances with a strikeout."

Chapman's streak of appearances with a strikeout reached 45 on Tuesday, which is the most in Major League history for a reliever. The save was also the 100th of his career.

Worth noting 

• Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick have both had success against Miley in limited action. Heisey is 4-for-8 with a solo home run while Ludwick has gone 3-for-8 with two solo homers.

• Gibson still needs one win to tie Bob Melvin (337) for the most victories by a D-backs manager in team history after Tuesday's 3-0 loss.

• D-backs All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, despite going 0-for-4 on Tuesday, is hitting .321 (27-for-84) with 11 doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs this month. Comments