HOW IT HAPPENED: Jeff Samardzija did well to limit the damage from the long ball Saturday, but it was still too much damage for the Cubs to overcome. The Reds crushed three home runs in the victory. After a two-run home run from Alfonso Soriano in the first inning, Reds starter Johnny Cueto kept the Cubs in check. The Cubs did manage to score a run in the ninth inning against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, just the 10th run he has allowed all season.
WHAT IT MEANS: Samardzija was buried under the weight of the long ball Saturday. He entered having given up just four home runs on the road all season. The three he gave up to the Reds were a season high for one game. The three previous home runs Samardzija allowed came over a stretch of six starts going back to July 18 against the Miami Marlins.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Soriano reached an impressive milestone as his two-run home run gave him 1,000 RBIs for his career. The veteran of 14 major-league seasons has driven in runs for the Yankees, Rangers, Nationals and Cubs. As a member of the Cubs since 2007, Soriano has driven in 440 runs.
OFF BEAT: How is this for some elite company: By collecting his 1,000th career RBI, Soriano becomes just the sixth player in major league history to amass 1,000 RBIs, 400 doubles, 350 home runs and 250 steals. It’s a group that also includes Barry Bonds, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield.
UP NEXT: In Game 2 of the doubleheader Saturday evening, the Cubs will send left-hander Brooks Raley (0-2, 9.00 ERA) to the mound. The Reds will counter with right-hander Todd Redmond (0-0, 0.00), who will be making his major-league debut. It is a 6:10 p.m. CST start from Great American Ball Park.