One thing you could rely on in this unpredictably disappointing season for the Reds was a solid start every fifth day from Johnny Cueto.

Until Saturday. Cueto had his first really bad outing of the year. He pitched 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits as the reeling Reds fell to the Chicago Cubs 11-4 Saturday before a crowd of 41,978 at Wrigley Field.

Cueto walked three, hit two batters and showed none of his usual pinpoint command.

"He wasn't sharp early in the count," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

"He was spinning off. We were hoping he'd get sharp. We didn't make a couple of defensive plays ..."

The Reds committed three errors. And Yonder Alonso continued to make playing left field an adventure.

"It was an ugly, ugly day at Wrigley Field," Baker said.

The Reds have lost four of five on the road trip to the Cubs and the Houston Astros – the teams with the worst records in the National League. The Reds dropped to nine games back in the NL Central with the loss. With 49 games remaining, the likelihood of getting back in the race gets more and more remote.

Consider: If the first place Milwaukee Brewers go 25-24 the rest of the way, the Reds have to got 34-15 just to tie.