Soler homers in debut for Cubs in 7-5 Reds loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm •  Published: August 27, 2014
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CINCINNATI (AP) — With his father watching from the stands, Jorge Soler had quite a Cubs debut.

Soler homered in his first at-bat in the majors and had an RBI single Wednesday night, but the Cincinnati Reds held on for a 7-5 victory behind Skip Schumaker's run-scoring double and single.

Soler, a 22-year-old prospect from Cuba, was called up Wednesday after getting a nine-year, $30 million deal from the Cubs in 2012. He started in right field and batted fifth.

"He looked very comfortable in the box, as we were told about him before he got here," manager Rick Renteria said.

After Luis Valbuena led off the second inning with a homer off Mat Latos (5-3), Soler hit a 2-1 pitch into the Reds' bullpen in center field. The last Cub to homer in his first at-bat also did it in Cincinnati — Starlin Castro off Homer Bailey on May 7, 2010.

He said his father, Jorge Sr., was in the stands for his debut.

"I felt real proud he was here," Soler said, with a coach translating. "I was very excited. I felt real comfortable."

Soler also had an RBI single off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, cutting it to 6-5. Latos pitched into the eight and gave up four runs while fanning a season-high 10 batters.

Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey homered in the bottom of the inning. Aroldis Chapman escaped a two-on threat in the ninth, getting his 28th save in 30 chances. Javier Baez flied out to the warning track in center to end it.

"Baez put a good swing on that ball," Renteria said. "Everyone in the dugout thought it was going farther."

Jacob Turner (4-8) made his first start for the Cubs and lasted only 3 2-3 innings, giving up six runs — three of them unearned.

"I would have liked to have gotten a little deeper into the game," he said. "That part is frustrating."

The Reds took advantage of three Cubs errors and ended their four-game winning streak, one shy of their season high. The Reds are 24-10 against Chicago over the last two years, including 10-5 this season.

The Reds sent nine batters to the plate and scored four times in the fourth inning, taking advantage of fielding errors by shortstop Starlin Castro and Valbuena at third. Schumaker, Brandon Phillips and Devin Mesoraco had RBI singles.

Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton had a pair of infield singles and stole his 50th base, becoming the ninth Reds player to reach the mark. Bob Bescher holds the club rookie mark with 54 in 1909.

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