CINCINNATI — Scott Rolen returned from a beaning that left him sore and blurry for two days, then hit a two-run homer on his first swing Wednesday night to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs that ended their eight-game losing streak.
Right-hander Justin Lehr (1-0) limited the Cubs to four hits in his first complete game. The 32-year-old Lehr was a reliever for Oakland and Milwaukee in 2004-06, and was making only his second start in the majors. It was his first win since May 18, 2006, with the Brewers.
The Reds got Rolen from Toronto in a four-player deal Friday, looking for leadership and a right-handed bat. He went 0-for-6 with Cincinnati before getting hit in the head by a pitch on Sunday.
Cleared by a CT scan, Rolen made his first Reds hit a good one. His homer on the first pitch from Rich Harden (7-7) put the Reds on course for only their second victory in 16 games.
Despite the loss, Chicago remained in first place in the NL Central for a third straight day. But the Cubs couldn't do much against an unfamiliar pitcher. Lehr kept the Cubs off balance by changing speeds on his pitches, and picked Alfonso Soriano off first base following a seventh-inning single. The Reds called Lehr up from the minors after Micah Owings went on the disabled list Aug. 1.
The Reds had never beaten Harden, who was 4-0 in four career starts against Cincinnati.
Willy Taveras had an infield single, stole two bases and scored on a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead in the seventh.