CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs put a nine-game road losing streak to rest with a 9-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds to split a day-night doubleheader. It was the first Cubs road victory since July 24, the day after Ryan Dempster's “trade” to the Atlanta Braves was prematurely reported.
How it happened: The Cubs built a big lead and then had to snuff out a frantic Reds rally. The Reds cut a six-run deficit to a single run in the eighth inning. David DeJesus, a late-inning defensive replacement, crushed a momentum-busting home run in the ninth. Carlos Marmol wrapped things up in the bottom of the ninth with his 15th save.
What it means: All the Cubs needed to get on track was a little change and that change wasn’t necessarily in the form of a new lineup. Luis Valbuena, Joe Mather, Bryan LaHair and Adrian Cardenas all played in the second game of the doubleheader, but the Cubs seemed to really benefit from an opposing starter making his major league debut. The Reds’ Todd Redmond gave up four runs on seven hits and five walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Outside the box: If it seemed like it had been a long time since LaHair’s last RBI, it wasn’t a faulty memory. Reduced to a bench role of late, LaHair’s fourth-inning RBI on a ground out was his first since July 13. He added another RBI in the sixth inning on a single yet still has just five driven in since June 19. LaHair played in the All-Star Game on July 10.
Off beat: In Game 1 of the doubleheader Alfonso Soriano grabbed some attention with his 1,000th RBI. In Game 2 it was time for a couple of firsts. In the second inning, not only did Brett Jackson hit his first career home run with a shot into the Cubs bullpen in right field, but Brooks Raley followed two batters later with his first career hit.
Up next: The Cubs will close out the three-game series in Cincinnati on Sunday by sending right-hander Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.96 ERA) to the mound. Volstad will be looking to snap a 23-start winless streak dating back to July 17, 2011. He will be opposed by Reds right-hander Mat Latos (10-3, 3.63) in the 12:10 p.m. CST start from Great American Ball Park.