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Jason Hammel

Cubs sweep Reds for best start since 1969

Some longtime Chicago Cubs fans still haven't gotten over the epic collapse of 1969, but their team isn't into black cats or goats or any other excuse at the moment.

Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings, drove home one run and scored another to lead the Chicago Cubs to an 8-1 victory and a three-game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night. At 8-1, they've off to their best start in 47 years.

"This is all about the players. I have nothing to do with this," said manager Joe Maddon, who was 15 years old when the Cubs won 11 of 12 to start the '69 season en route to a second-place finish. "Our (players) and coaches have done a great job of...