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Reds 6, Cubs 0

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Jack Hannahan hit a pinch-three-run homer and catcher Devin Mesoraco added a solo shot, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a three-game series on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.

Cincinnati (83-64) avoided a sweep after dropping the first two games of the series by a combined score of 11-1.

Reds starter Mike Leake (13-6) struggled with his command at times, walking four in 5 2/3 innings. But he allowed just four hits and struck out six. Cincinnati's bullpen completed the shutout.

Leake needed 72 pitches to get through four innings but gave up just two hits.

Chicago went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base.

Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija (8-12) gave up six earned runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out five.

Jay Bruce singled and Todd Frazier doubled to begin the second inning. Both runners scored on RBI groundouts, putting Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the third. But Samardzija fanned Xavier Paul on his 71st pitch to end the inning.

Cincinnati used the long ball to take control.

Mesoraco launched a solo home run on an 0-1 pitch from Samardzija in the fourth to make the score 3-0. The 429-foot blast into the left-field bleachers was Mesoraco's 10th home run this season.

Hannahan, pinch-hitting in the sixth, crushed a 3-2 pitch from Samardzija 407 feet to right field, making the score 6-0. It was his first home run this season.

NOTES: Reds RHP Johnny Cueto threw 60 pitches during a simulated game on Wednesday morning. "He threw pretty good. Not surprising to me," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's mechanically sound." Cueto has been on the disabled list since June 29 with a strained lat muscle. "I feel healthy," Cueto said through an interpreter. "I finished all my pitches. I felt good." It's possible that Cueto could return this season in a relief role. "I'll do whatever they want," he said. ... The Reds confirmed that the back injury causing LHP Tony Cingrani to leave Tuesday's game in the second inning is the same one that forced him to miss two starts while on the disabled list from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5. Cingrani is day to day. ... The Cubs claimed their first series victory in Cincinnati since winning two of three games on Aug. 3-5, 2009. Chicago has never swept a series at Great American Ball Park. ... Hannahan hit his first career pinch-homer and his first home run since July 20, 2012, against Baltimore. ... Mesoraco homered for the first time since Aug. 3 when he hit two homers against St. Louis.
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