Cubs 5, Braves 1: Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, and Jeff Samardzija pitched seven strong innings to lead Chicago to a win in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
Jason Heyward gave the Braves a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the second, but Atlanta didn't do much more against Samardzija (4-1). The right-hander allowed five runs and struck out seven.
LaHair tied it with his team-leading eighth home run on the first pitch from Tommy Hanson in the fourth, and Stewart followed two pitches later with his third. They are the first Cubs players to hit back-to-back homers since Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena on Aug. 11, 2011.
Hanson (3-3) allowed only the two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out three.
The Braves drew consecutive walks to start the eighth against Carlos Marmol. But the struggling Cubs reliever retired the next three batters — the last two with strikeouts — to preserve a 3-1 lead.
Geovany Soto added a two-run blast to center in the eighth against Chad Durbin to give the Cubs some breathing room.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected in the seventh for arguing with home plate umpire Chris Conroy after Conroy issued a warning when Eric O'Flaherty hit Chicago's David DeJesus with a pitch. … LaHair has reached base in 25 consecutive games, the longest streak by a Cubs first baseman since Derrek Lee did so in 30 straight in 2009. … Hanson dropped to 0-3 in three starts against the Cubs. … Samardzija has allowed only two earned runs in 22 1/3 innings over three home starts this season.