A week ago, the Chicago Cubs used a series win at Arizona to kick off their longest winning streak of the season.
Now the Diamondbacks will hope they are heading for similar success at the expense of the Cubs.
After an offensive breakout, the visiting Diamondbacks are targeting a third straight win over the Cubs on Saturday. A fourth straight victory Sunday would match Arizona’s longest winning streak of the season.
It’s exciting for a team that entered the series amid a six-game losing streak in last place in National League West.
After losing Game 1 of the series last weekend in Arizona, Chicago won the next two games and the next two at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks’ 4-2 loss to the Cubs on May 14 was the first of six straight losses.
However, after opening the four-game series in Chicago with a 3-1 win on Thursday, the Diamondbacks used a season-high seven homers — three from Josh Rojas — to beat the Cubs 10-6 on Friday. Arizona had averaged 3.3 runs in the previous nine contests.
“You take the negatives (from the losing streak) and you go into this series with a new mindset,” Rojas said, according to the Arizona Republic, after blowing his first home runs of the season. , which made it 6 for 15. with five RBIs over the past four games.
Arizona rookie Alek Thomas, a Chicago native, went deep Friday and is batting .333 with three homers in 13 games since making his major league debut on May 8.
The Diamondbacks’ expected starter on Saturday, Madison Bumgarner (2-2, 2.29 ERA), has been throwing the ball relatively well this season despite a season-high three runs and six hits in five innings of a loss 5 -4 against Los Angeles. Dodgers Monday.
The 32-year-old southpaw posted a 1.17 ERA in five starts in April, but boasts a 4.38 ERA in three this month.
Bumgarner has always been solid against the Cubs, going 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 15 career starts.
Jonathan Villar, who hit one of Chicago’s four home runs on Friday, is 5-for-7 with two doubles and a home run in his career against Bumgarner.
Since making his major league debut on Tuesday, Chicago’s Christopher Morel has had an immediate impact, producing four hits on 11 at-bats, including two home runs and three RBIs.
With two straight losses, regular Chicago starter Justin Steele (1-4, 4.50 ERA) hasn’t won since Game 2 of the season — six straight starts without a winning decision.
However, the left-hander has just had the best outing of his season. On Sunday, he allowed the Diamondbacks just two runs (one earned) on three hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts. He left after six innings with the score tied, and the Cubs won 3-2.
It was a much-needed solid outing for Steele, who has failed to pitch the fifth inning in any of his previous four starts.
“What hurt him was not a gimmick,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “It’s been long at-bats, long innings, and the next thing you know, you’re third or fourth and you have a high pitch count. So being able to handle that has been one of our No. 1 goals.”
–Field level media
Suggest a fix