Reds rally for 6-4 victory over Cubs
Cubs drop third straight game
It was an unconventional rally constructed with four walks, a hit batter, a couple of sacrifice flies and only one hit.
But the sum was what mattered as the Cincinnati Reds rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to overtake the Chicago Cubs on the way to a 6-4 victory on Saturday at Wrigley Field.
"We manufactured runs; there wasn't a big one there," said Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, who provided a run-scoring sacrifice to tie the game.
"A couple of sac flies, a couple of walks, that's baseball and I'm glad we're on the right side."
The come-from-behind victory spoiled two Cubs highlights, including two two-run home runs by Alfonso Soriano, giving him 375 home runs in his career.
It also overshadowed a quality outing by right-hander starter Jeff Samardzija, who appeared on track for his first victory since Opening Day.
Instead, Chicago dropped its third straight game and fell eight games under .500 heading into Sunday's series finale.
Logan Ondrusek (2-0) pitched the seventh inning and got the win. Aroldis Chapman bounced back from a poor Friday outing to claim his seventh save.
The Reds trailed, 4-2, entering the eight, but loaded the bases against on reliever Carlos Marmol and then scored four runs to pull ahead.
"Marmol had a little tough time out there and our guys stayed off some close pitches and we were fortunate to get the hit when we needed it," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
"We also did a good job keeping the ball off the ground. We had the bases loaded (to avoid a double play)."
After losing his job as closer earlier on April 8, Marmol has pitched 11 straight scoreless innings. But he also set up conditions for Saturday's loss.
"I don't even know if (Marmol) threw a strike today; a couple of swings but I don't know if they were strikes," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
"One way or another we've got to get it fixed because he's got to pitch."
Marmol (2-2) exited before facing his fourth batter and took the loss.
Left-handed reliever Hector Rondon gave up a bases-loaded single to Jay Bruce to score Zack Cozart. Todd Frazier hit a sacrifice fly to deep right to bring home Joey Votto and tie the game.
After intentionally walking Xavier Paul, Rondon issued a conventional walk to pinch hitter Jack Hannahan to score Brandon Phillips and Cincinnati went ahead, 5-4.
Devin Mesoraco's sacrifice fly scored Bruce for a 6-4 lead.
Shin-Soo Chin scored twice against Samardzija with a first inning home run and after a third inning walk.
Choo's lead-off home run came on Samardzija's first pitch and landed in the basket in left field. It was his seventh career lead-off home run and second of the season.
The Cubs replied in the bottom of the first with two runs off Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani, who has making his fourth start.
Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch to reach base and scored on Soriano's second home run of the season deep into the left field bleachers.
The Reds forced a 2-2 tie in the third. Choo walked, advanced to second when Samardzija's pickoff throw to first went into the dirt and scored on Cozart's single to center.
Soriano's second home run came with two out in the third and Rizzo again on base, this time after a double to the center field wall. Soriano hit a 1-and-0 pitch an estimated 370 yards to left to give him his 30th multi-home run game.
Samardzija left after six full innings and 111 pitches. He allowed four hits and one earned run while walking three and striking out five.
Left handed reliever James Russell pitched the seventh innings to extend his scoreless streak to 12 1/3 innings through 16 appearances.
Marmol entered in the eighth for his 453rd career relief appearance, surpassing Lee Smith on the Cubs' all-time list. He promptly loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter with none out.
Samardzija said a deeper run might have prevented a late collapse.
"If you don't want that to happen, then pitch deeper into the game," he said. "If you five and dive or six and dive, at that point the game is out of your hands.
"So be more efficient with your pitches and pitch deeper into the game."
Cingrani also pitched six innings. He gave up four earned runs on three hits, struck out five and walked one.
NOTES: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto is set to be examined on Monday and a revised rehabilitation schedule determined after his scheduled Friday appearance in Class AA Pensacola was cancelled. He's been on the disabled list since April 15 because of a strained right lat. ... When Tony Cingrani struck out 11 batters last Sunday at Washington, it was only the second time since 1900 that Reds rookie has had at least 11 strikeouts while allowing two hits or fewer. ... The Reds clinched their first series win since dropping four completed road series this season. They've swept all five at home. ... How cold has it been at Wrigley Field this spring? The temperature at first pitch on Friday was 41 and the average game time temperatures have been 51 degrees. Eight games have started at 45 degrees or lower. ... David DeJesus needs only six RBIs to reach 500 for his career ... The Cubs begin a stretch on Sunday where they host three teams in three days for the first time since 1960. After the Reds on Sunday, Texas comes in for an inter-league makeup game on Monday and the Cardinals open a two-game series on Tuesday.
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