Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Reds 1

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
8:49
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


CINCINNATI – The Cubs pitched well and went deep twice in a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

How it happened: Jeff Samardzija didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning and was in complete control against the Reds. He gave up his only run on a double play in the fourth inning. Carlos Marmol managed to throw a perfect ninth inning for his second save, but did give up a fly ball to the warning track in the process. Bryan LaHair hit a home run yet again, his sixth, while Ian Stewart hit his second on the season and first since April 13.

What it means: Samardzija has now been extremely impressive in three of his five starts and has given up just one combined run over his last two outings. If it wasn’t for back-to-back outings last month where looked shaky, he’d be challenging Matt Garza for top dog in the rotation. Samardzija’s most recent domination comes as a prelude to Ryan Dempster’s return to the rotation Thursday and continues to showcase the strength of the Cubs: starting pitching.

Outside the box: When Geovany Soto delivered a bloop single to score a run in the sixth inning, it was the first time he managed to come through with a runner in scoring position. He had been 0-for-10 previously in those situations and had just one RBI entering play Wednesday.

Off beat: With the Cubs flashing some impressive defense for Samardzija, Alfonso Soriano looked as if he wanted to get in the act, making a diving catch in left field. His play complimented a bare-handed pickup and throw from third baseman Ian Stewart, and an eye-popping 4-6-3 double play that began when Blake DeWitt made a diving stop at second base.

Up next: Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.33) will return from the disabled list when he faces the Reds on Thursday in the finale of the series and the road trip. Cincinnati will counter with right-hander Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.60) in the 11:35 a.m. CST start from Great American Ball Park.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .285
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 59
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .907
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOT. Wood 108