Cubs-Diamondbacks Preview

The Associated Press

The weekend has come and gone, and Matt Garza is still donning a Chicago Cubs uniform.

The Arizona Diamondbacks can't be too happy about that.

Garza carries a career-high five-start winning streak into the opener of a four-game road set against the Diamondbacks on Monday night.

While rumors picked up Friday regarding a possible deal with Texas, Garza (6-1, 3.17 ERA) remains with Chicago (43-53) for the time being. The right-hander is still likely to be moved before the July 31 trade deadline, but he's scheduled to take the mound Monday.

"All I know is he's pitching, and I guess if we get a phone call and something changes, that's the way it is," manager Dale Sveum told MLB's official website. "He's been the ultimate pro about everything. ... He's handled it extremely well, obviously, by his performance on the mound."

Garza has recorded a 1.47 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 36 2-3 innings during his winning streak. He allowed a season-high 10 hits but managed to limit the damage July 13 in his final start before the All-Star break, surrendering two runs in 6 2-3 innings in a 6-4 win over St. Louis.

While this process surely hasn't been easy, Garza continues to remain focused on the mound.

"When (the phone) rings, then it will be real," he said. "Right now it's just rumors. It is what it is; you just keep going about your business."

Garza gave up two runs in seven innings to beat Arizona 7-2 on May 31, improving to 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in the series. Paul Goldschmidt is 0 for 6 in their matchups, and Cody Ross is 1 for 12.

The Diamondbacks (51-47) had been limited to four runs during a three-game losing streak before bouncing back Sunday with a 3-1 win at San Francisco. Martin Prado went 3 for 4 with two runs and Ross added two hits and two RBIs.

Arizona now turns to promising rookie Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 4.03), who has posted mixed results in five big league starts this year. The 22-year-old left-hander has thrown a combined 14 scoreless innings in his wins, but he owns a 7.80 ERA in his other three outings.

Skaggs didn't have his best stuff in a 7-5, 14-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 10, yielding three runs, eight hits and three walks in a season-low 4 1-3 innings.

"I missed my spot a few times and you can't do that up here," said Skaggs, who was sent down to Class A Visalia during the break in order to stay on his regular turn in the rotation. "You have to go out there and throw strikes."

Skaggs will need to be careful against Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who is batting .371 with 17 homers and 36 RBIs in his last 28 games in the series. Soriano is hitting .312 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs over a 19-game stretch overall.

Chicago is looking to avoid a third straight loss after falling 4-3 at Colorado on Sunday. Anthony Rizzo clubbed his 14th homer and Starlin Castro collected a season-high four hits, but the Cubs went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Chicago was 1 for 24 in such situations over the weekend.

"That's what I said coming out of the break, we've got to get better with men in scoring position," Sveum said. "Obviously we're in the same boat."

The Cubs have gone 10 for 63 (.159) with runners in scoring position during a 1-6 stretch at Chase Field.

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