Zack Greinke, 3 home runs lead D-backs to win over Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Zack Greinke made it look easy in his first victory at Wrigley Field. Then, he got upstaged by a teammate making a memorable major league debut.
Greinke pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Taylor Clarke got a save and a hit after being called up from the minors, and the Arizona Diamondbacks knocked out three home runs in a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Clarke became the first pitcher with a save and a hit in his major league debut since saves became an official stat in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“Pretty fun, pretty special to be a part of that and experience all of that and have success,” Clarke said.
Called up from Triple-A Reno, he allowed one hit over the final three innings and preserved Arizona’s first shutout since a 9-0 romp over Chicago last Sept. 19. He also led off the eighth with a single to the left side of the infield that deflected off the pitcher’s glove in his first at-bat.
“He’s got great memories,” manger Torey Lovullo said. “He can hand them off to his boys and his wife and his parents, so it’s a very special moment for him and for us and for all of player development. He pounded the zone with the stuff we remember him using from spring training, the transition here is no different, he showed us that it was the same game.”
Greinke (3-1) won for the third time in four starts since a season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner also picked up his first victory in six career starts at Wrigley, giving him at least one win at every National League ballpark. He helped himself at the plate with a double.
“Felt good, weather wasn’t ideal, pitching or hitting,” Greinke said. “But it felt all right out there. Three runs were nice early and then the extra later was even better.”
Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta hit back-to-back solo homers against a shaky Yu Darvish (1-3) in the first. John Ryan Murphy capped a three-run sixth against Allen Webster with a two-run homer that made it 6-0.
Christian Walker had a career-high four hits and scored a run, helping the Diamondbacks win for the fifth time in six games on a windy afternoon.
The Cubs had won eight of 11 following a 1-6 start and were trying to go above .500 for the first time since a season-opening victory at Texas.
Darvish lasted five innings, allowing three runs and five hits. The shaky outing followed three straight dominant starts against Miami and Arizona by Jose Quintana, Cole Hamels and Kyle Hendricks, who each went seven scoreless innings.
“Overall, not horrible,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Not a bad performance. The homers early make it look worse than it was.”
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (0-1, 4.64) tries for his first win in his fifth start. He went six innings against Atlanta on Tuesday in his longest outing of the year but gave up a season-high five runs.
Cubs: RHP Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00) makes his first start of the season. The Cubs opted to go with Chatwood and push back LHP Jose Quintana back to Tuesday, in part because Arizona has struggled against right-handers.