Arizona (50-55) at Chicago (53-50)

Light Rain Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 30, 2005
  • TV: WGN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Despite an embarrassing base-running blunder, Rich Hill gave the Chicago Cubs what they needed in his first major league start.

The rookie pitcher will look to give the Cubs another strong outing as they continue a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field.

Hill was recalled from the minors to start Monday in place of oft-injured right-hander Kerry Wood. He gave up two earned runs and five hits in five innings without receiving a decision in the Cubs’ 3-2 win.

The 25-year-old Hill also tripped while rounding third on a potential run-scoring hit, failing to score and stifling a potential Chicago rally.

“Good thing we came back and won the game. We can joke about it now,” Hill said.

Hill, who made three relief appearances in June, threw 98 pitches, 61 for strikes.

“One of the things I’ve noticed with the guys here is that they’re looking for one pitch, one type of area in the strike zone that they’re going to swing at,” Hill said.

“They’re looking to put the ball out of the ballpark. They’re not just looking to get a slap hit here or there, but to drive it over the wall. That’s probably the biggest difference.”

The Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Friday for their fifth win in seven games. Henry Blanco homered, and Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez drove in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth for Chicago.

Ramirez did not start because of a strained right quad, but is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.

Craig Counsell went 2-for-5 with a double and a run and Troy Glaus had two RBIs for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three of five. Brian Bruney was charged with his fourth blown save.

“To be a successful closer in this game, you can’t walk the leadoff guy, ever,” said Bruney, who has walked 28 in 38 innings. “My team battled today, came back and gave us an opportunity to win the game. I let them down today.”

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Starting Pitchers

M. Gosling Cle vs. R. Hill Was
0-3 Record 0-2
4.45 ERA 9.13
14 K 21
19 BB 17
1.82 WHIP 1.77