CHICAGO – Dale Sveum watched his team swing the bats as well as they have 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.
Volstad has gone 14 consecutive starts without a victory, dating back to July 17 of last season.
"I need to make better pitches when things start going like that," Volstad said. "I don't know what it is, just have to focus a little more."
Fielding woes were contagious as Heisey was unable to haul in Castro's fly ball in the third inning, which led to two unearned runs. The teams combined to make five errors.
The Reds tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth on Stubbs' double into the right-field corner. He finished with three hits and two stolen bases.
"I felt like I stayed on every pitch," Stubbs said. "Leading up to that I had been kind of pulling off of some sliders especially, but got a lot of them today and was able to drive one to right field and stay up through the middle with some other ones."
Volstad gave up six runs, five earned, on seven hits over five innings. He was lifted for pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt in the fifth. DeWitt doubled and came around to score on Darwin Barney's groundout to cut the Reds' lead to 6-3.
Homer Bailey (1-2) pitched seven solid innings for his first victory of the year. He allowed four runs, but only one was earned. Bailey struck out two and walked none. He also drove in a run with a groundout in the sixth.
Bailey used the elements to his favor, pitching to contact against an aggressive Cubs lineup.
"Especially with the wind, it's 'Here it is, hit it as hard as you can,'" Bailey said. "It's probably not going to go anywhere."
Aroldis Chapman struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth, and Jose Arredondo pitched a flawless ninth to close the door.
The Reds joined the Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals as the only teams to reach the 10,000 win plateau.
Notes: The Cubs placed RHP Kerry Wood (right shoulder fatigue) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled LHP Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa. Maine walked one and struck out two in a scoreless seventh. ... Ryan Dempster (strained right quad) is questionable for his start on Sunday. RHP Randy Wells will be recalled from Iowa if Dempster is unable to go. ... Paul Maholm takes the mound for the Cubs on Saturday in the second game of the series against Mike Leake. Both are in search of their first win this year