How it happened: Luis Valbuena and Jorge Soler gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second with back-to-back home runs to start things off. Soler’s solo shot came on the fourth pitch he saw in the major leagues. But the Reds tied it in the bottom of the inning, then took advantage of two Chicago errors in a four-run fourth. Jacob Turner couldn’t get out of the fourth in his first start for the Cubs since being traded from the Miami Marlins on Aug. 8. Javier Baez just missed hitting a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth, sending center fielder Billy Hamilton to the wall to flag down his fly ball.
What it means: The Cubs fall a win short of matching their season-high five-game winning streak, which they set June 3-7.
Memorable debut: Soler made sure he wouldn’t lose the ball from his first career home run. After Valbuena logged his career-high 13th home run to lead off the second inning, Soler drove a 2-1 Mat Latos pitch 423 feet to deep left-center field, where it landed in the netting above the Reds bullpen. He is the first Cub to homer in his first MLB at-bat since Starlin Castro in the same ballpark on May 7, 2010. Soler also drove in the last of Chicago’s three eighth-inning runs with a single to left.
Bumpy start: Turner needed 66 pitches to get two outs deep into the fourth inning, the shortest outing of his 13 starts this season. His bad luck continued even after he left the game. A scoring change adjusted what originally had been an error on shortstop Starlin Castro to a Billy Hamilton infield hit and an error that allowed Skip Schumaker to score from second base.
Reversing a trend: Cub fielders had committed just six errors in 881 chances over their previous 23 games since Aug. 2, a .993 fielding percentage that led the majors in that span of time. They committed three in Wednesday’s game, two in a span of two batters -- the first by Castro, the second by Valbuena at third -- in the fourth.
Run it out: Castro also committed a mental blunder, walking out of the box while his drive to center bounced off the wall and ending up with a long single.
What’s next: The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for Thursday at 11:35 a.m. CT. Right-hander Jake Arrieta allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings in his only other start against the Reds, on June 24 at Wrigley Field. Reds right-hander Dylan Axelrod makes his first career appearance against the Cubs.