Marte has 3 hits to lift Diamondbacks over Cubs 4-3
By JOHN MARSHALL | AP Sports Writer
Friday, May 13, 2022
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks played a ton of one-run games last season and lost most.
This year's team is built to not only survive, but thrive in tight games. They did it again Friday night.
Ketel Marte had three hits and drove in a run, Zach Davies pitched effectively into the sixth inning and the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 for their seventh win in one-run games after finishing 10-31 last season.
“We're prepared mentally, physically and fundamentally to win this type of game,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We were able to execute at a high level to win this game.”
Marte struggled to start the season after signing a long-term contract in spring training, but has started to round back into All-Star form the past couple of weeks. He had a pair of doubles off Drew Smyly (1-4) and finished 3 for 4, raising his average to .222.
Davies (2-1) allowed three runs and four hits with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Ian Kennedy worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth after shortstop Geraldo Perdromo's two-out error and Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
Arizona has won eight of 10 to move three games over .500 after struggling at the start of the season.
Chicago had two hits after taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning and five overall to lose for the seventh time in nine games.
“This team has a great heartbeat,” Lovullo said. “They don't panic. They stay with the process, stay with their prep and get very focused. We answered back.”
Davies, who went 6-12 for the Cubs last season, had not allowed a earned run in 14 1/3 innings before facing his old team.
The Cubs ended the right-hander's streak in the third inning on Ildemaro Vargas' two-run triple and Rafael Ortega's sacrifice fly. Davies was solid in every other inning, leaving with a 4-3 lead with two outs in the sixth inning.
“I was kind off today,” Davies said. “I felt like there were at-bats where I got ahead and wasn't able to put guys away or get behind and have to battle those. But overall, I was happy to get over that inning and be able to pitch into the sixth inning.”
Smyly had been good on the road this season, his ERA (1.26) more than four runs lower than at Wrigley Field.
The left-hander wasn’t quite as sharp at Chase Field.
Marte and Pavin Smith hit RBI doubles off Smyly in the third inning and Christian Walker added a run-scoring single. Jose Rojas reached third after walking to lead off the next inning and scored when Smyly let loose a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
Smyly allowed four runs and 10 hits and struck out four in six innings. He has lost lost four straight starts since beating Pittsburgh on April 12.
Things got a little dicey for Kennedy in the eighth after Pedromo mishandled Willson Contreras’ sharp grounder.
Kennedy just missed on a couple of pitches to walk Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom to load the bases. The right-hander escaped the jam when he jammed Alfonso Rivas to induce a weak pop out to short center field.
“You can't make mistakes in the middle of the zone and Ian is smart enough to know that,” Lovullo said. “He was making quality pitches, they just weren't giving in. The inning got a little extended, but when he had to make pitches, he did.”
Cubs: LHP Justin Steele threw a bullpen without any trouble after leaving the fifth inning of Sunday's start against the Dodgers with left thumb soreness. ... RHP Alec Mills (strained lower back) is scheduled for a bullpen session on Saturday.
Diamondbacks: SS Nick Ahmed was out of the lineup to rest his his right shoulder, an injury that kept him out the first two weeks of the season. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen (2-0, 0.95) has the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher his first five starts in club history heading into Saturday's game against Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks.
Gomes hits HR, go-ahead single to lift Cubs over D-backs 4-2
By DAVID BRANDT | AP Sports Writer
Saturday, May 14, 2022
PHOENIX (AP) — Yan Gomes' cameo as a middle-of-the-order masher was a success for the Chicago Cubs.
The veteran catcher batted cleanup for just the 14th time in his 11-year career, responding with a solo homer in the fourth inning and a go-ahead single in the ninth to lift the Cubs over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Saturday night.
“I put him up there at the top of the order because he's got such a quality at-bat,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “It doesn't matter who we're facing. It doesn't matter — righty, lefty. It's a really good approach.”
The Cubs have won three out of their past five, which is welcome good news for the franchise after dropping eight of nine.
The game was tied at 1 until the Cubs sent eight to the plate in the decisive ninth. Willson Contreras walked, Seiya Suzuki singled and Ian Happ walked to load the bases with no outs. That brought up Gomes, who lined a single to center to make it 2-1. Rafael Ortega added a bases-loaded walk and Jason Heyward had an RBI groundout to push the advantage to 4-1.
Rowan Wick worked the ninth and gave up one run before earning his third save. Mychal Givens (3-0) threw two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief.
The D-backs had the tying run on first base in the ninth, but Wick retired Cooper Hummel on a swinging strikeout for the final out.
Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks gave up one run over 5 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out two.
“It was a little bit of a battle,” Hendricks said. “But having Yan, he stuck with me. Stuck with the fastball down and away, he kept telling me to get a good angle, stay on top. About the third or fourth inning, it started clicking and coming together.”
It was another tough outing for D-backs reliever Mark Melancon (0-5), who didn't record an out and let the first four Cubs batters of the ninth reach base. Arizona signed the veteran to a $14 million, two-year during the offseason with the hope he'd add some stability to the back end of the bullpen, which was a huge problem last season.
Melancon has had a particularly tough time entering games that are not save situations.
“The bottom line is he's got to execute at a higher level no matter what," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “If it's a tie game or not, he's got to command the cutter.”
The D-backs took a 1-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Nick Ahmed that brought home Ketel Marte.
Gomes got the Cubs on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the fourth, driving a fastball 402 feet into the left-center seats to tie it at 1. It was the catcher's second homer of the season.
It was the only blemish for D-backs right-hander Zac Gallen, who threw six stellar innings. He struck out nine, gave up two hits and walked one. It's the latest in a string of good performances for Gallen, who has a 1.05 ERA through six starts.
Gallen's looked much more like he did back in 2020, when he was one of the National League's best pitchers in the abbreviated season and finished ninth in the NL Cy Young voting. Like many of the D-backs, he struggled in 2021, finishing with a 4-10 record and 4.30 ERA.
Cubs: Suzuki (right ankle) was back in the starting lineup for the first time since Monday.
The Cubs will start LHP Justin Steele (1-4, 5.32 ERA) against Diamondbacks RHP Humberto Castellanos (2-1, 4.32) in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday.
Schwindel's go-ahead hit in 9th lifts Cubs over Arizona
By JACK MAGRUDER | Associated Press
Sunday, May 15, 2022
PHOENIX (AP) — Frank Schwindel figured he got the best of the bargain with his broken-bat, go-ahead single.
“I'll trade a bat for a hit any day," Schwindel said.
Schwindel had a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday.
Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega also homered for the Cubs, who have won four of six after a 3-14 stretch.
Wisdom doubled to deep center field to lead off the ninth against Ian Kennedy (2-2) and Schwindel reached out and hit a soft line drive over first base for his second hit of the game.
“I took one chance and swung through it, and after that it was just choke up and put something to right side so at least Patrick can get over,” Schwindel said. “I just battled and put something to the right side.”
Scott Effross (1-1) gave up a single to open the ninth. Rowan Wick allowed a single to the first batter he faced before getting his fourth save in as many chances on a foulout and double-play grounder.
“Frank has had a lot of good at-bats,” said Cubs manager David Ross, noting Schwindel's line out to deep center field in the sixth. “It's kind of funny. That's baseball. You hit a line drive to the warning track and a guy runs it down. Then you break your bat and get the game-winning knock.”
Chicago starter Justin Steele struck out a career-high 10 and gave up one earned run and three hits in six innings. It was his first appearance since being removed from last Sunday’s start after four innings because of thumb soreness.
“The slider was working very well today,” Steele said. “I was able to get a swing and a miss whenever I wanted it. Just one of those starts where I had the pitches I needed working."
Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk in his second straight start after missing three starts with an ankle injury.
Suzuki also made two outstanding plays in the field, a sliding catch on Christian Walker’s line drive in front of him in the first inning and a backhanded, over-the-shoulder catch on Josh Rojas’ flyball to the warning track in the seventh.
“Seiya played great tonight,” Ross said. “Really picked us up with his defense.”
Arizona lost its first series in six. The Diamondbacks had won their previous last five one-run games — they are 7-4 in one-run games this season after going was 10-31 in such games last season.
Ortega hit the second pitch of the game for a 428-foot homer and Wisdom led off the second with a 414-foot homer for a quick 2-0 lead off Humberto Castellanos.
Daulton Varsho had an RBI single and shortstop Ildemaro Vargas made a two-out error as the Diamondbacks tied it at 2-all in the fourth.
Walker and Pavin Smith singled to open the ninth before Varsho fouled out and Peralta grounded into a double play started by second baseman Jonathan Villar. Peralta's ball was measured at 107 mph.
“I felt David did a great job,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “He hit a 107 mile an hour line drive groundball right to the second baseman. We just have to keep plowing. We're going to cut you 100 times to win a baseball game.”
START ME UP
Arizona’s starting pitchers are 8-0 with a 2.00 ERA in the last 15 games after Castellanos gave up two runs and did not get a decision.
The Diamondbacks’ starters have a 2.51 ERA, second-lowest in the majors to the Dodgers (2.45). The teams begin a four-game series in Los Angeles on Monday.
SWING AND A MISS
From the bottom of the second inning through the top of the fourth, 10 of the 12 batters struck out and none reached base. Steele struck out the side in the second inning and fanned two around a groundout in the third.
Castellanos struck out five in a row after getting Willson Contreras on a sharp groundout leading off the Cubs’ third.
Ortega connected on his 31st birthday for his first homer of the season. Wisdom was the last Cub to homer on his birthday, hitting two on Aug. 27, 2021.
Cubs: SS Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder) was activated from the injured list before the game and entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, He had not played this season after feeling inflammation in spring training. ... SS/2B Nico Hoerner (right ankle) was placed on the IL in a corresponding move. Hoerner left Wednesday’s game in San Diego in the second inning when he collided with an umpire while attempting to position himself for a relay throw.
Diamondbacks: RHP Sean Poppen (shoulder inflammation) was activated from the injured list prior to the game. DH Seth Beer was optioned to Triple-A Reno in a corresponding move. Beer, who beat San Diego with a walk-off three-run homer on opening day, was 9 for 61 with no homers in his last 20 games.
Cubs: LHP Wade Miley (0-0) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh RHP Bryse Wilson (0-2) in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Monday.
Diamondbacks: LHP Madison Bumgarner (2-1) is to face Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (3-0) in the opener of a four-game series in Los Angeles on Monday.
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