Cincinnati at Chicago

Chi. Cubs
W: J. Cueto (2-2) L: J. Samardzija (2-1)
HR: CIN - T. Frazier (5),D. Lutz (2)   CHC - None

Reds 11, Cubs 1


MESA, Ariz. (AP) - The scene was perfectly set.

Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto matched up with Chicago Cubs opening day starter Jeff Samardzija on a warm evening in front of a packed house.

The only thing was, it didn't count.

Next time they each take the mound, it will.

Both pitchers were in regular-season form Tuesday night as Cueto threw six shutout innings in his best outing this spring and Todd Frazier homered for the Reds in an 11-1 victory.

Cueto struck out five and walked one. Samardzija also was on point, giving up one run and five hits in five innings while striking out five.

"It was a good atmosphere, a good primer for the regular season," Samardzija said. "I've known Johnny for a long time, and it helps raise the overall competitiveness when the other guy is pitching well. I'm glad the final spring outing went well. I think I can speak for all of us when I say it's been a long spring. We can't wait to get out of here and start the regular season."

Cueto, too, declared himself ready to go. His performance was a stark contrast to his previous one, when he gave up five runs, two walks and couldn't get out of the second inning.

The right-hander was sharp against the Cubs, using precise fastball location to carry him through.

"Everything went as it should," Cueto said through translator Ron Ortegon, the Reds' assistant hitting coach. "It was nice to move beyond the last start and finish my spring on a good note. I'm excited for opening day."

Cueto's opening day assignment was earned with a strong 2012 season. He went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA in 217 innings.

Samardzija is stepping into a No. 1 role for the first time. He was 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA on a terrible team in his first full major league season as a starter. He earned his opening day start with a strong spring that flashed his vast potential.

"Jeff has been real good for us, and I think he's ready to be the workhorse we need him to be," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said before the game. "He's made good use of his starts and at this point he's ready for opening day."

Samardzija cruised through most of the Reds' lineup, but had some trouble with Cueto in the third. The pitcher hit a line-drive single and scored on a double by Emmanuel Burriss.

Frazier went deep in the seventh, but the game was close until Cincinnati scored nine times in the ninth inning.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol had his worst outing of the spring and was booed by the home crowd at HoHoKam Stadium. He gave up six runs (four earned) on four hits and a walk without getting an out, snapping his scoreless streak at 6 2-3 innings.

NOTES: Cubs RHP Zach Putnam and INF Alberto Gonzalez have been told they won't make the 25-man roster, but haven't officially been reassigned. Putnam will still pitch for the big league team on Wednesday, but will go to minor league camp after that. Gonzalez will leave Arizona with the Cubs and play two exhibition games in Houston against the Astros. Those cuts increase the odds that LHP Hisanori Takahashi or RHP Cory Wade and C-INF Steve Clevenger will make the roster, although the Cubs are still looking at external options in the bullpen and on the bench. ... 3B Ian Stewart (quadriceps) and RHP Matt Garza (back) will remain at the team's spring training facility to rehab their respective injuries. ... The Cubs hosted their first night spring training game since March 28, 2005, against the Seattle Mariners.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

D. Lutz
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

S. Clevenger
AB 2
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

June 16, 2017
Stock Down: Cincinnati Reds (0:46)
Cincinnati Reds
Emmanuel Burriss, SS-2B5111001 .226
Chris Heisey, LF5111011 .268
Jay Bruce, RF5121030 .240
Denis Phipps, CF3020010 .275
    Derrick Robinson, CF1100111 .341
Todd Frazier, 3B4111002 .260
   a- Devin Lohman, PH-SS0001000 .000
Donald Lutz, 1B5223011 .289
Jason Donald, 2B2000000 .286
    Cesar Izturis, 2B-3B3121000 .347
Ryan Hanigan, C3020010 .333
    Corky Miller, C2111001 .235
Johnny Cueto, P1110000 .500
   b- Junior Arias, PH1000001 .000
    Alfredo Simon, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Berset, PH0100100 .000
    Clay Hensley, P0000000 .000
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Frazier in the 9th
b-grounded out for Cueto in the 7th
c-walked for Simon in the 9th
2B - Emmanuel Burriss (2, Samardzija), Denis Phipps (5, Samardzija), Donald Lutz (4, Russell), Cesar Izturis (5, Marmol)
3B - Jay Bruce (1, Russell)
HR - Todd Frazier (5, Takahashi), Donald Lutz (2, Hamann)
SF - Devin Lohman (2)
SH - Johnny Cueto (1)
RBI - Emmanuel Burriss (3), Chris Heisey (10), Jay Bruce (9), Todd Frazier (11), Devin Lohman (2), Donald Lutz 3 (12), Cesar Izturis (7), Corky Miller (3)
2-OUT RBI - Emmanuel Burriss (2), Donald Lutz 3 (4)
SB - Emmanuel Burriss (6, 2nd base off Marmol/Clevenger)
Team LOB - 6
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto (W,2-2) 6400150 5.16
Alfredo Simon (H,1) 2311110 9.45
Clay Hensley 1100110 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 36-32, Alfredo Simon 15-11, Clay Hensley 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 10-3, Alfredo Simon 3-2
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 23, Alfredo Simon 10, Clay Hensley 5
Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus, CF3010000 .380
    Brent Lillibridge, CF2000003 .375
Starlin Castro, SS5010023 .378
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3010021 .275
    Daniel Vogelbach, 1B0000100 .000
Dave Sappelt, LF4020001 .204
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000013 .271
Welington Castillo, C3110012 .182
    Jeimer Candelario, 3B1000002 .000
Luis Valbuena, 3B2000100 .204
    Alberto Gonzalez, 2B1000000 .282
Darwin Barney, 2B3000004 .213
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Michael Hamann, P0000000 .000
   a- Oliver Zapata, PH0000100 .000
Jeff Samardzija, P1000010 .600
   b- Dioner Navarro, PH1000000 .283
    Hisanori Takahashi, P0000000 .000
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
   c- Steve Clevenger, PH-C2021000 .409
a-walked for Hamann in the 9th
b-grounded out for Samardzija in the 5th
c-doubled for Camp in the 7th
2B - Steve Clevenger (5, Simon)
RBI - Steve Clevenger (5)
2-OUT RBI - Steve Clevenger (3)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Castro-Barney-Rizzo
E - Jeimer Candelario (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Jeff Samardzija (L,2-1) 5511040 3.51
Hisanori Takahashi 1.2111031 3.52
Shawn Camp 0.1100000 1.23
James Russell 1.1211010 3.12
Carlos Marmol0463100 4.66
Michael Hamann 0.2222101 27.00
WP - Jeff Samardzija (2), Michael Hamann (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Samardzija 29-28, Hisanori Takahashi 12-12, Shawn Camp 2-2, James Russell 8-8, Carlos Marmol 10-5, Michael Hamann 9-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Samardzija 5-5, Hisanori Takahashi 2-0, Shawn Camp 1-0, James Russell 1-2, Carlos Marmol 1-0, Michael Hamann 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Samardzija 19, Hisanori Takahashi 6, Shawn Camp 2, James Russell 6, Carlos Marmol 6, Michael Hamann 5
Game Information
Attendance - 9388
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Adam Hamari, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Patrick Mahoney