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Reds blank Cubs to earn first victory

Mahle throws six scoreless innings in first start of season

One run on the scoreboard was enough for the Cincinnati Reds to break through for their first victory of the 2018 season. The Reds blanked the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Monday at Great American Ballpark.

Here are some quick observations:

Big moment: The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but Raisel Iglesias struck out Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Iglesias then pitched a perfect ninth.

Strong start: In his first start of the season, Reds rookie Tyler Mahle threw six scoreless innings. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed one hit.

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First lead: The Reds didn’t have a lead in 27 innings against the Washington Nationals in the season-opening series, and this game was tied 0-0 through three innings. The Reds finally grabbed a lead in the fourth when Eugenio Suarez led off with a triple to center field. He scored one batter later on a groundout by Adam Duvall.

Tough play: Reds shortstop Cliff Pennington, making his first start of the season, snagged a sharp ground ball from Addison Russell with a runner on first and no outs. That led to an inning-ending double play.

Two catches: Jesse Winker couldn’t make a diving catch in the second, and Javier Baez got a triple. In the third, however, Winker made a diving catch to rob Kris Bryant of a hit and then made a jumping grab to catch a line drive by Anthony Rizzo.

Relief help: New Reds reliever Jared Hughes made his third appearance in the first four games, throwing a scoreless seventh inning.

» RELATED: Schwarber off to strong start for Cubs | Hunter Greene to start season with Dragons

Missed chance: Winker and Pennington led off the first inning with walks for the Reds. Joey Votto followed with a strikeout. That loomed large when Scooter Gennett followed Votto with a single. Suarez grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Big picture: The Reds (1-3) avoided their first 0-4 start since 1995 when they began the season 0-6. That team won the National League Central Division championship.

Looking ahead: The Reds play the Cubs at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in the second and final game of the series.

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