Diamondbacks offense continues to roll at home in win over Cubs
PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks’ offensive momentum from their successful road trip continued at Chase Field on Friday night, taking game one at home against the Chicago Cubs 8-3 for their fifth win in a row.
The D-backs’ bats were red hot early, getting to Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks in the first inning. Adam Jones drove in Ketel Marte with an RBI double to kick the scoring off and Jones subsequently scored a run himself when he was driven in by a Wilmer Flores two-RBI single. Speaking of Flores, he played a major role in this game.
Jones was locked in at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. The 33-year old right fielder is hitting .317 this season with 16 RBI and 29 hits.
David Peralta, who has also been outstanding this season, padded the lead with an RBI double in the third inning. Per the team, Peralta’s 13 doubles in the month of April is the most in franchise history for the first month of the season, surpassing Paul Goldschmidt’s 12 doubles in April 2014.
Flores added to his big night at the dish in the fifth inning, driving in Jones again with another RBI single. Flores was 2-for-3 with three RBI, a run scored and a walk.
The offense then blew the game wide open in the fifth when Nick Ahmed tripled to the right-field corner, scoring Flores and Christian Walker to increase the lead. Jones added an extra RBI in the bottom of the eighth.
“The theme of today was just adding on and tacking on runs,” said manager Torey Lovullo after the game. “I think we were pinpoint with our focus today. We had a good plan, and some of the pitches we were looking for were in the area of where we were ready to square up.”
“We’ve just been grinding, that’s pretty much what it is,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of playing the game right, playing it together, and pushing the next guy or pushing the guy in front of you. If you don’t get a hit, make sure you’re on the top step pushing the guy in front of you.”
Robbie Ray was on the mound for Arizona and was dominant after giving up a leadoff single to Albert Almora through 2.2 innings. But after allowing a single to Almora again in the third inning, Kris Bryant blasted a home run to left field to cut into the deficit.
Then, in the fourth inning, he gave up another monster home run to center field off the bat of Javier Baez, his ninth of the season, to make the game a one-run affair.
While Ray overpowered the Cubs at times, he didn’t last very long. He went five innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs, and one walk with seven strikeouts. This is his first win this season.
“I felt my stuff was consistent,” said Ray after his start. “Fastball command was there, and obviously the one walk came in that last inning. I felt like I was around the zone and it was probably as crisp as my off-speed has been all season.”
“I use the term fist fight every once in a while,” added Lovullo. “I think it was a little bit of a fist fight for him where it wasn’t clicking. He never got into a rhythm, he never got pushing in a really good direction.
“I know there [were] some mistakes that were made, but he made quality pitches after that to get out of innings and get out jams and he won the game. That’s the bottom line.”
The bullpen was rock solid again in closing the game out, with Matt Andriese recording his fifth career save. In fact, the D-backs bullpen has now posted a franchise-record 22.2 innings without allowing an earned run which began on April 19th against the Cubs. The D-backs are 10-2 in their last twelve games.
Zack Godley will start for the D-backs on Saturday against Yu Darvish for the Cubs. Godley is 1-1 with a 6.67 ERA in five starts this season. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.