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Reds 6, Cubs 4

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano clubbed two home runs -- including the 375th of his career -- but the Chicago Cubs couldn't hold the lead as the Cincinnati Reds rallied to a 6-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing 4-2 entering the eight, the Reds loaded the bases on reliever Carlos Marmol and then scored four runs to pull ahead.

Marmol exited before facing his fourth batter. Left-handed reliever Hector Rondon gave up a bases-loaded single to Jay Bruce to score Zack Cozart. Todd Frazier sacrificed 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 as Cincinnati went ahead 5-4.

Devin Mesaraco's sacrifice fly scored Bruce for a 6-4 lead.

Marmol (2-2) took the loss. The relief struggles spoiled a quality outing by Cubs right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija, who appeared on track for his first victory since Opening Day.

Instead, the Cubs dropped their third straight and fell eight games under .500 heading into Sunday's series finale.

Logan Ondrusek worked the seventh inning and got the win. He's now 2-0.

Shin-Soo Chin scored twice on Samardzija with a first inning home run and after a third inning walk.

Choo's leadoff home run came on Samardzija's first pitch and landed in the basket in left field. It was his seventh career leadoff 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, making his fourth start. Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch to reach base and scored on Alfonso 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 took a 1-0 pitch and lined Cingrani's offering an estimated 370 yards to left for his 375th home run and 30th multi-homer game.

Soriano, the only player on either side with more than a hit, went 2-for-3 with a walk and four RBI and two runs scored.

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 an unscored on 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 a pair of walks and a hit better with none out.

Cingrani also worked six innings. He gave up four earned runs on three hits, struck out five and walked on.

Notes: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto is set to be examined on Monday and a revised rehabilitation schedule determined after his scheduled rehabilitation Friday appearance in Class AA Pensacola was cancelled. He's been on the disabled list since April 15 with a strained right lat. ... When Cingrani struck out 11 batters last Sunday at Washington, it was only the second time since 1900 that a Reds rookie has had at least 11 strikeouts while allowing two hits or fewer. ... The Reds have lost all four completed road series this season while sweeping all five at home. ... How cold has it been at Wrigley Field this spring? The temperature at first pitch on Friday was 41 degrees and the average game time temps have been 51 degrees. Eight games have started at 45 degrees or lower. ... The Cubs had four pinch hitters reach safely in Friday's ninth inning. The previous National League club to do that was the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 21, 1993, with five Braves reaching in the seventh inning at the Montreal Expos. ... David DeJesus needs just six RBI to reach 500 for his career. ... The Cubs begin a stretch on Sunday where they host three different teams in three days for the first time since 1960. Besides the Reds on Sunday, the Texas Rangers come in for an interleague makeup game on Monday and they open a two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. ... Cincinnati sends right-hander Mat Latos (2-0) against righty Edwin Jackson (0-4) in Sunday's series finale as the Reds close a 10-game, 11-day road trip.
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