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Grit Index: D-backs doomed by long balls in Chicago

The wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field, and that didn’t bode well for Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Alfonso Soriano started off the hit parade by clubbing a two-run shot off of Miley in the first inning, Scott Hairston added a grand slam to left in the third and Cody Ransom left the yard two batters later to give the Cubs a cushion they wouldn’t relinquish in a 7-2 win over the D-backs in the opener of a three-game weekend series.

Arizona got on the board in the sixth on a sac fly from Didi Gregorius and an RBI double from Miguel Montero.

The win was the Cubs’ fifth in a row — good for their longest streak of the season.

The Good

You have to search pretty deep to find something positive in this one, but after Ransom’s home run in the third, Miley settled down and retired nine straight Chicago hitters before Darwin Barney singled with two outs in the sixth.

Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra each had two hits for Arizona, who fell to 30-24 with the loss. Montero has now hit safely in seven of his last eight games and is batting .281 during that stretch.

The Bad

Miley’s recent struggles continued. Since starting the season by winning his first two decisions, Miley has gone 1-5 with a 5.71 ERA.

For just the second time in his 51 career appearances, Miley surrendered three home runs in a game. The other occurrence came last June 30 in a 10-2 loss at Milwaukee.


• Soriano continued his recent assault on D-backs’ pitching. Dating back to 2009, the Cubs’ outfielder has 17 home runs in his last 26 games versus Arizona.

• Miley is 0-4 with a 9.14 ERA in his last four starts.

• The umpiring crew of Rob Drake, Joe West, David Rackley and Andy Fletcher is the same crew that worked Thursday night’s game between Kansas City and St. Louis that was delayed four hours and 32 minutes by rain. The game ended at 3:14 a.m. Central Time, which gave the crew very little time to get to Chicago for Friday’s tilt, which started at 2:20 p.m. Central Time.

He Said It:

“We’re not here to save our bullpen, we’re here to win games.” — D-backs manager Kirk Gibson when asked if Wade Miley going seven innings after struggling early was positive in that it saved the bullpen from a second straight day of extended work.

What’s Next

The three-game series continues Saturday night in Chicago with the Diamondbacks sending Ian Kennedy to the mound against Cubs righty Jeff Samardzija. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 Phoenix time.