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Monday, May 26, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Cubs 8, Giants 4

By Jesse Rogers



SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 8-4 on Monday afternoon to take Game 1 of their three-game series. Here’s a quick look:

How it happened: Run support wasn’t an issue as the Cubs erased a 3-1 deficit to finally give Jeff Samardzija his first win of the season. Darwin Barney made it 3-2 in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly. Afterward, two-out hits by Samardzija and Emilio Bonifacio plated the tying and lead runs before the Cubs added four more scores in the sixth and seventh innings. First, they got RBI singles from Nate Schierholtz and Barney to push the lead to 6-3 in the sixth. Then Anthony Rizzo added an RBI double in the seventh as the Giants committed two errors helping two runs cross the plate. Earlier, Schierholtz hit his first home run of the season to put the Cubs on the board in the third inning after Pablo Sandoval gave the Giants a first-inning lead with an RBI single. Samardzija committed an error on the leadoff man Angel Pagan allowing that unearned run. Sandoval homered in the fourth inning to put the Giants in front again, but the lead didn’t last long. The Giants got one back in the seventh on a Brandon Crawford RBI.

What it means: The streak is over. Samardzija won a game for the first time since Aug. 24. Sandoval got to him a couple of times, but other than that he was very good. Samardzija gave up just six hits and no walks while striking out a season high 10 batters in seven-plus innings. His ERA rose to just 1.68. And the Cubs finally scored for him.

Schierholtz has been knocking on the door of coming out of a season long slump, and he finally did it against his old team. Forget season numbers; if he heats up at the right time, he becomes trade bait as there are always teams in need of left-handed hitting, especially if the home runs start to come. Rizzo struck out twice against Giants righty starter Yusmeiro Petit but had two hits off the lefty reliever David Huff.

Now that’s a slider: Samardzija struck out 10 batters in a game for the sixth time in his career while six of the strikeouts ended on his slider. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that’s the most he’s struck out with his slider in any one game of his career.

What’s next: Game 2 of the series takes place on Tuesday night at 9:15 CT. Jake Arrieta (1-0, 2.33) takes on Tim Hudson (4-2, 2.13)