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Cubs, Cardinals fall on road; White Sox snap skid

Soler strong in first start

Skip Schumaker drove in a pair of runs, and the Reds withstood Jorge Soler’s first-at-bat homer and an RBI single Wednesday to beat the Chicago Cubs 7-5 in Cincinnati.

Soler, a 22-year-old prospect from Cuba, got a 9-year, $30 million deal from the Cubs. He was called up on Wednesday, started in right field, and batted fifth. 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.

Soler also had an RBI single off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, cutting the deficit to 6-5.

Latos pitched into the eighth and gave up four runs while fanning a season-high 10 batters. Aroldis Chapman escaped a two-on threat in the ninth for his 28th save.

Jacob Turner (4-8) made his first start for the Cubs and lasted only 3 2/3 innings.

White Sox 3, Indians 2: Jose Abreu hit a pair of run-scoring singles against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, and Chicago won at home to stop a season-high seven-game losing streak.

Abreu put Chicago ahead for good in the seventh with his third hit of the game. Adam Eaton doubled with one out off Kluber (13-8), advanced on Alexei Ramirez’s groundout, then Abreu drove in his AL-high 96th run.

Hector Noesi (8-9) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, improving to 5-2 in eight starts since the All-Star break.

Pirates 3, Cardinals 1: Ike Davis hit a two-run homer off a speaker above the seats in right-center field, and Jeff Locke outpitched Adam Wainwright as Pittsburgh won at home.

Davis hit his 10th homer in the second, a drive estimated at about 433 feet, after Wainwright hit Russell Martin on the left elbow with a pitch that Martin barely tried to avoid. Locke (6-3) allowed one run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings, giving up Matt Holliday’s third-inning homer.

Pittsburgh took two of three from the defending NL champions, and has won five of seven overall. St. Louis (71-61) leads the NL wild-card race, with San Francisco (69-62) trailing by 1½ games, and the Pirates (69-64) one game back of the Giants for the second wild-card berth.

Locke also singled in the third and scored on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly, just the 11th hit for the pitcher in 98 career at-bats. Mark Melancon pitched a one-hit ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.

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