PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks entered Sunday’s contest with a chance to pick up a season series victory over the Chicago Cubs for the first time since 2014.
It didn’t work out that way though.
Zack Godley got into trouble early, but settled down to strike out eight over 5.2 innings while allowing two runs.
Problem is, the Arizona hitters just couldn’t solve Jake Arrieta in what turned out to be a 7-2 Chicago win in front of 41,760 fans at Chase Field.
The D-backs hung around for awhile, trimming the Cubs’ lead to 2-1 in the fifth, then keeping it that way until the eighth. But the Chicago bats touched up the Arizona bullpen at that point, getting a run off Jorge De La Rosa, then launching back-to-back homers from Javier Baez and Ian Happ off of Jake Barrett.
Fortunately for the D-backs, both Colorado and St. Louis lost on Sunday as well. So they remain tied with the Rockies for the wild card spot, with the Cardinals 4.5 games back.
-Arizona used some slick fielding to get out of trouble in the third. After Kris Bryant doubled, then moved to third on a wild pitch, Godley made a nice play on a chopper up the middle for the first out. Bryant was unable to advance, and then he was thrown out one batter later when Paul Goldschmidt fired home on a grounder to first.
-Godley worked out of a jam in the fifth, inducing a pair of groundouts with runners on first and second and just one out. Then he followed that up in the bottom half of the inning by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt to set up Arizona’s first run of the game.
-Goldschmidt hit his 28th home run of 2017.
-Jake Lamb had three hits in the game. That’s the good news. The bad news…
-Arizona only had one hit in the entire game other than those three by Lamb.
-The Cubs scored their first run of the game on a wild pitch. Godley struck out Victor Caratini on the play, but the ball got past Chris Iannetta and Godley slipped while trying to cover home. He made the play at the plate close, but couldn’t quite get the tag down on Bryant in time..
-Lamb led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, but the trio of Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez and Daniel Descalso were unable to bring him home.
-Jake Barrett has given up a total of five home runs this season – and three of them came today. In fact, he’s now allowed seven runs (six earned) and four homers in just 2.2 innings over his last two outings. Prior to that, he had given up one run all season.
STAT OF THE GAME
4: Number of Chicago batters that Godley struck out in the first inning. It’s just the second time ever that a Diamondback pitcher has fanned four batters in the same inning. The only other time it happened was when Oliver Perez pulled off the feat during the seventh inning of a game on Sept. 20, 2014 at Colorado.
HE SAID IT
“We’re fighting for the same chunk of land, basically, today. So teams are winning and losing and we’re all in pennant races and it’s awesome. There’s nothing better. We should embrace that and be at our very best, so that’s what I want to make sure that our guys do – they play their very best when they’re supposed to.” – Torey Lovullo
-Taijuan Walker turned 25 today.
The Diamondbacks begin a four-game, home-and-home series with the Houston Astros on Monday. The first two contests are at Chase Field, with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m. tomorrow. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Zack Greinke (13-5, 3.14 ERA) will take the mound for Arizona, looking to build on his stellar 10-1 record at home this season. His lone loss in Chase Field came in his last start, when he gave up three runs over 6.2 innings in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 9.
Even with that loss though, Greinke is still sporting a 2.52 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 13 home starts this year.
Houston will counter with Collin McHugh (0-1, 5.32 ERA). The 30-year old righty will be making just his fifth start of the season after an elbow injury sidelined him until the middle of July. His first three starts were solid, but he was lit up for seven runs in just 5.1 innings in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox in his most recent outing on Aug. 9.
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