Rapid Reaction: Reds 6, Cubs 1


CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs lost 6-1 to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. Here’s a quick look at the game.

How it happened: Billy Hamilton drove home Chris Heisey with the go-ahead run off of Hector Rondon in the top of the ninth inning after Heisey reached on a bloop single with two out and nobody on. Three batters later, Devin Mesoraco hit a grand slam to turn a close game into a blowout. Anthony Rizzo tied it in the sixth inning on a solo home run to left-center, his 16th of the season. The Reds took a quick lead as Hamilton led off the game with a double and Todd Frazier followed with a triple, but Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija stranded him there. Samardzija got into some early trouble but no other Reds player crossed the plate as he settled down to get through six innings giving up just four hits. He struck out seven.

What it means: With plenty of scouts watching from the stands, Samardzija showed something after getting hit hard in the first couple innings. Once he settled in, the right-hander was able to grind through six but threw more than 100 pitches. Teams will like the fact he was throwing as hard at the end of his outing -- he threw 95 mph to his final batter -- as he was at the beginning.

Rizzo is making a push for the All-Star team as he took over the home-run lead among National League first baseman. Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Samardzija and Jason Hammel all could make claims to play in the Midsummer Classic, but it’s doubtful four Cubs will make the team.

Rondon falters: Things were going fine for Rondon until a bloop hit started a five-run rally with two out in the ninth. It culminated with the Mesoraco home run, the first given up by Rondon since Aug. 1 of last season.

Schwarber at Wrigley: Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs' 2014 first-round pick who is playing with Class-A Kane County, was in attendance Monday, a day off for the Cougars. Schwarber tweeted from the stands:

What’s next: Game 2 on Tuesday night features Jake Arrieta (3-1, 1.98) taking on Homer Bailey (7-3, 4.68).