Jeff Samardzija tossed 7 2/3 innings of one- run ball and the Chicago Cubs edged the Cincinnati Reds, 3-1, in the opener of a rain-shortened two-game series at Great American Ball Park
Samardzija (3-1) gave up just three hits and two walks while fanning seven. Rafael Dolis got the last out in the eighth and Carlos Marmol finished it off in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
"He was pretty impressive with his velocity tonight" Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He kept it from 94 to 98 the whole game and had command down in the strike zone."
Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart crushed solo home runs and Geovany Soto added an RBI single among his two hits for the Cubs.
Bronson Arroyo (1-1) yielded three runs on nine hits and one walk while fanning three in defeat for the Reds, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped.
Jay Bruce smacked the ground out to first which allowed the lone Cincinnati run to score.
LaHair led off the second inning by turning on a fastball that was out over the plate and sending it over the wall in right-center field to give the Cubs the early lead.
Chicago extended its lead to 2-0 in the fourth when Stewart waited on a changeup from Arroyo and deposited it into the right field stands.
Joey Votto worked a one-out walk in the home fourth and Brandon Phillips followed with a single to right for the Reds' first hit of the game to put runners on the corners. Bruce then grounded one to first, which allowed Votto to score before Phillips was tagged out in a rundown.
Alfonso Soriano laced a one-out single in the sixth and moved to third on a base hit to right by Blake DeWitt two batters later to put runners on the corners. Soriano then crossed home on a single by Soto to make it 3-1 Chicago.
That would be all the offense the Cubs would need as Samardzija retired the side in order in the bottom of the frame and the first two hitters in the seventh before Bruce laced a double to center.
Dolis relieved Samardzija and struck out Zack Cozart to end the eighth and Marmol was perfect in the ninth.
"He was throwing the ball really well," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Samardzija's performance. "He was 95 to 98 and when he left the game he was still throwing 96, so yeah, he threw the ball really well against us."
The Cubs improved to 4-7 on road this season...Chicago went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position while stranding six. Cincinnati was 0-for-2 with men in scoring position and stranded three.