PHOENIX — Different day, same script — trail early, rally mid-game, bullpen nails down win.
For the second consecutive day, the Arizona Diamondbacks come from behind to beat the Chicago Cubs, handing Chicago its fourth straight loss, 9-3 in front of an announced crowd of 32,528 at Chase Field Saturday.
Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero each drove in three runs to help Wade Miley win his third consecutive start.
“The offense picked me up big time early in the game and it helped me kind of get through the rest of it,” said Miley, who evened his won-loss record at 6-6. “I kind of struggled early, really didn’t execute pitches (but) Miggy stayed with me and did a great job back there.”
Down 3-1 after four innings, the Diamondbacks struck for four runs in the fifth — highlighted by Montero’s bases-clearing double — two in the sixth and two more in the eighth, when Paul Goldschmidt crushed a 2-0 pitch into the left field seats for a two-run home run, his 18th of the season and second in as many days.
Miley, meanwhile, recovered, retiring 10 straight at one point, to throw seven innings for the second straight start. He walked just one and struck out seven.
“He’s more consistent with his pitch command and the count-command and able to throw all of his pitches in any count,” manager Kirk Gibson said of Miley, who improved to 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in four starts this month. “He’s just throwing the ball really well. It’s coming out of his hand good.”
The Diamondbacks, winners of five of their last seven at home, have won their first two games out of the All-Star break for the first time since 2007.
Ender Inciarte is getting pretty good at playing center field. With a run already in and runners on first and second with one out in the first inning, he tracked down Welington Castillo’s deep fly ball, jumping up against the wall to make the grab. It was his second spectacular catch in as many days.
We know he can hit. We know he can defend. Goldschmidt can also run. He scored the Diamondbacks’ first run — which tied the game — racing all the way from first on Montero’s single to center that Arismendy Alcantara mishandled in the third inning. Goldschmidt made a nice move to elude the tag at home plate.
Montero walked in the first, singled in the third and doubled in the fifth to reach base safely in three of his four at-bats and extend his streak of reaching base safely to 16 straight games, during which time he is batting .274 (17-for-62). It’s his longest such streak since a 21-game run from May 17-June 12, 2013.
That was quick. Four batters and fifteen pitches into the game, the Cubs took an early 1-0 lead on a Starlin Castro single to center, the last of three consecutive hits. No further damage occurred as Miley was able to retire the next two batters, aided by the aforementioned defensive gem by Inciarte.
After his teammates had tied the game at one, Miley went out the next half-inning and promptly opened the door back open for the Cubs. Castillo hit a leadoff home run followed by a Junior Laker triple and Mike Olt sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Chicago in the fourth inning. The long ball snapped Miley’s four-start homerless streak.
Batting clean-up for only the second time this season, Mark Trumbo went hitless in his first three at-bats, hitting the ball hard each time, twice to center field plus a line drive to the first baseman. He left six men on base, but did redeem himself in the sixth inning with a ball off the end of his bat for a run-scoring infield single, his first RBI since April 21.
STAT OF THE GAME:
15: The number of doubles hit this season by Montero, one more than he had all of last season
HE SAID IT:
“When you’re scoring multiple runs on at-bats, that’s ideal; and just on those two at-bats there we got five funs,” Gibson said of Montero’s three-run double and Goldschmidt’s two-run homer. “Hope that continues.”
– Goldschmidt homered in back-to-back games for the third time this season, and he has now recorded a double and a home run in the same game for the seventh time this season
– Goldschmidt recorded two of the Diamondbacks’ four walks, meaning he has accounted for nearly a quarter of the team’s free passes this season (24.7 percent, 58-of-235)
– Right fielder Cody Ross was removed from the game, replaced by Gerardo Parra, at the start of the third inning because of tightness in his left calf. He had singled in the previous half-inning
Josh Collmenter and Jake Arrieta, a pair of right-handers, is the mound match-up for the series finale on Sunday, July 20. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Collmenter (7-5, 3.80) will be looking to end a two-start winless drought. He did not factor in the decision in his last outing despite allowing just one run on seven hits in seven innings against the Marlins on July 9, a game the Diamondbacks won, 4-3.
Meanwhile, Arrieta (5-1, 1.95), in his first full season with the Cubs, has pitched at least six innings in each of his past seven starts. His ERA is the second-lowest in the majors since the beginning of May (Clayton Kershaw, 1.81). This will be his first career appearance against the Diamondbacks.