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Chicago Cubs Use Longball to Back Jeff Samardzija, Cruise Past Atlanta Braves

May 7th, 2012 at 11:42 PM
By Cody Fields

Tommy Hanson made just two crucial mistakes Monday against the Chicago Cubs, but Jeff Samardzija made one less and lasted an inning longer, giving the Cubs a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Hanson gave up only two runs in his six innings of work, and they both came within the first three pitches of the fourth inning. Bryan LaHair jumped on the first pitch he saw and parked it in the cheap seats at Wrigley Field, and Ian Stewart followed suit to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Meanwhile, Samardzija put a lid on a streaking Braves offense that had put up 29 runs over three games in Colorado. The only Braves run on the night came via a Jason Heyward solo homer in the second inning.

Samardzija would later hit Heyward in the back with a pitch in the seventh inning, heavily irritating Heyward, who presumably thought it was payback for when Hanson plunked Reed Johnson in the second. The dugouts were both warned in the bottom of the inning when Eric O'Flaherty hit David DeJesus with two outs.

Fredi Gonzalez was ejected after coming out to argue the warnings. Shortly after he left the dugout, Tony Campana and Starlin Castro recorded consecutive singles to give the Cubs an insurance run.

The Braves were poised to tie or take the lead in top of the seventh when Tyler Pastornicky singled to put runners at first and second with one out, but Eric Hinske lined into a double play to end the threat.

Carlos Marmol gave up two walks to start the eighth inning, but the erratic former closer retired Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla to escape his own jam.

The Cubs will look to Ryan Dempster to earn his first win of the season opposite rookie Randall Delgado Tuesday at 8:10.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs, Eric O'Flaherty, Fredi Gonzalez, Jason Heyward, Jeff Samardzija, MLB, Tommy Hanson

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