CHICAGO – Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco each had a sacrifice fly in Cincinnati's four-run eighth inning, and the Reds rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Cubs on Saturday.
Cincinnati had one hit in the decisive rally but took advantage of another woeful outing by reliever Carlos Marmol to secure its first winning road series of the season. The Reds held on for a 6-5 victory in the opener Friday when Darwin Barney struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run homers for the Cubs, who have lost four of five. It was Soriano's 31st career multihomer game.
Shin-Soo Choo homered on the first pitch of the game. Jeff Samardzija went on to pitch six effective innings for the Cubs.
James Russell got three outs before Marmol (2-2) came on to begin the eighth with a 4-2 lead. It was Marmol's 453rd relief appearance with the Cubs, snapping a tie with Lee Smith for the franchise record.
The erratic right-hander marked the occasion by walking Zack Cozart on four pitches, walking Joey Votto on a full count and hitting Brandon Phillips to load the bases with no outs.
That was enough for manager Dale Sveum, who replaced Marmol with Hector Rondon. The crowd of 36,455 showered Marmol with boos as he made his way to the dugout.
Jay Bruce hit an RBI single and Frazier followed with a fly ball to right, tying it at 4. After Xavier Paul was walked intentionally, pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan walked to force home a run and Mesoraco, another pinch hitter, sent another fly ball into right field to give the Reds a 6-4 lead.
Logan Ondrusek (2-0) worked the seventh, Jonathan Broxton pitched the eighth and Aroldis Chapman finished for his seventh save. Chapman worked around a one-out walk by Soriano one day after he gave up three runs in a non-save opportunity.
The Cubs wasted a solid start by Samardzija, who settled down after Choo sent a drive over the left-field wall for his seventh career leadoff homer. He allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits while throwing a season-high 111 pitches.
Cozart had an RBI single in the third for Cincinnati, but Samardzija retired 11 of his final 13 batters. The right-hander is winless in six starts since he tossed eight scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh on opening day.
Reds starter Tony Cingrani struggled against the heart of the Cubs' order. The left-hander hit Anthony Rizzo in the first and Soriano followed with a long drive to left. Rizzo doubled off the wall in center in the third and Soriano hit another shot to left for career homer No. 375.
Cingrani, who is from nearby Evergreen Park, allowed three hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
NOTES: Reds C Ryan Hanigan, on the disabled list with a strained left side and bruised left thumb, is hitting and his hand feels strong, but manager Dusty Baker wants him to take his time to make sure he's 100 percent when he returns. "Hanny's a big part of this club," Baker said. ... Barney went 0 for 3 and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. "He's always working and trying," Sveum said, "but I think he needs to try to stick with one thing and go with that, a lot of changing every single day." ... Cubs RHP Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27 ERA) faces Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83) in the series finale on Sunday. Latos enters with a 17-inning scoreless streak. ... Cubs 3B Ian Stewart (strained left quadriceps) was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Stewart was already at Iowa on a rehab stint.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap