Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 2
CHICAGO (AP)—The wind normally blows out on warm July days at Wrigley Field, helping the hitters. Stephen Drew didn’t get any assistance Saturday and still went deep.
The Cubs lost for only the sixth time in 25 games. Arizona got its fifth victory in 18 tries.
With one out in the eighth, Drew hit a solo shot off reliever Bob Howry (5-5) through a steady wind that was blowing in. Drew’s sixth homer of the season put the Diamondbacks ahead 3-2. He is 9-for-17 in his career at Wrigley Field with three home runs.
“This park can play big or it can play small,” Drew said. “On the days when the wind is blowing in, this park can play really big. I just put a good swing on it. It was good for us that it went out.”
Arizona’s bullpen tossed five hitless innings. Ex-Cub Juan Cruz (4-1) went three innings to earn the win, Tony Pena worked a hitless eighth and Jose Valverde got three outs for his 29th save in 32 chances.
Arizona manager Bob Melvin was impressed with Cruz’s performance.
“That was huge in that situation to get three innings like that. He has to keep his pitch count down, number one, to be able to get three innings. Obviously, after four from the starter, we need that. If there’s MVPs in the game, he was certainly one of them today,” Melvin said.
With a runner on first, Cubs pinch-hitter Cliff Floyd popped up in foul territory for the final out.
“We always expect to win,” Howry said. “Even today after I give up the home run. You always think there is a chance that we’re going to come back the way we’re playing, but it didn’t happen today. We’re still playing good ball, it’s a tough ballgame and we come back and try to win the series (Sunday).”
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the Cubs came back and took the lead. Jacque Jones led off with a double off the wall in left. Arizona starter Micah Owings then walked Mark DeRosa, and Angel Pagan hit a drive to the right-field warning track. Jones and DeRosa scored, and Pagan easily went to third after right fielder Eric Byrnes fumbled the ball. Pagan was credited with his second triple of the season.
The Cubs played without Derrek Lee, who was serving the fourth game of a five-game suspension.
Young led off the game with a bouncer down the third-base line. Aramis Ramirez wasn’t able to get in front of it and was charged with an error as Young went to second. Young stole third without a throw and scored on Hudson’s RBI groundout.
Ramirez didn’t appreciate a pitch from Owings that was high and inside in the first inning. Ramirez took a few steps toward the mound after the pitch but was quickly stopped by Arizona catcher Chris Snyder and Jones, who was standing in the on-deck circle. Order was quickly restored.
“I think I overreacted,” Ramirez said. “I don’t think anything was going on there.”
Owings only made it through four innings because of a high pitch count. He allowed two runs and four hits. He struck out three and walked three, throwing 95 pitches.
Hill gave up two runs, one earned, and six hits while throwing 116 pitches in six innings. He had six strikeouts and four walks.
“I think I made a few bad pitches early and I got a little frustrated with that,” Hill said. “It was definitely a battle out there with the foul balls, few counts were deep. It seemed like I was getting ahead pretty well but they did a good job of fouling off and staying in counts.”
Alfonso Soriano, having a solid defensive season in left field, committed his second error in the third inning. … Many of the 41,632 fans in attendance lined up before the game to receive a Carlos Zambrano bobblehead. … Owings has not won since June 20.
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