Diamondbacks double up Cubs
Maholm 0-4 in last eight starts
PHOENIX — David DeJesus and Starlin Castro, the top two players in the Chicago Cubs’ batting order, had four hits apiece on Saturday night.
And neither table-setter scored.
“We need to get everybody together to score runs,” Castro said. “We need everyone to do their job. Two guys did their job, you can’t win. David and me got four hits, that was not enough.”
The three players directly after them — Bryan LaHair, Alfonso Soriano, and Luis Valbuena — were a combined 1 for 14. Combine that with a rough outing by Paul Maholm, and the Cubs dropped a 10-5 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“LaHair had a tough night, left a lot of people out there,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We got to get better with men in scoring position. That is the bottom line. We had a lot of opportunities, and (Steve) Clevenger came up with the big hit, but other than that we pecked away. Our core guys have to start doing something in the middle of that order.”
Maholm (4-6) hit the second home run of his career, a two-run shot off Ian Kennedy in the fourth, but Arizona scored six in its next at bat, and he fell to 0-4 in his last eight starts.
“I would rather go 0 for 4 with four punchouts and go deeper (in the game) and win,” Maholm said, “but I hit the home run on the first pitch and jogged around the bases, then didn’t get through the next inning.”
Paul Goldschmidt fell a single shy of the cycle, and Justin Upton homered for the second time in three games as the Diamondbacks climbed above .500 for the first time since May 4.
A week after they were shut out three times — and scored just once in another game — on the road, the Diamondbacks have won four of five at home, accumulating 46 runs in the process.
Goldschmidt tripled in a run in Arizona’s six-run fourth inning against Maholm, homered in the sixth, and had a leadoff double. He scored his third run of the night in the eighth. Upton started the scoring with a solo home run off Maholm and had an RBI single.
Asked what has happened to get the offense going, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said “I’m not sure I have the answer for you.”
“You just see better approaches, swings. They’re hitting mistakes, for sure,” he said. “We’re driving the ball like we knew we could. It just took us a while to get going.”
Craig Breslow (2-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief to get the win. The Diamondbacks can complete a three-game sweep of the Cubs when they send rookie left-hander Wade Miley to the mound in search of his ninth win on Sunday.
Jason Kubel, Aaron Hill, and Miguel Montero each had a pair of RBIs as the Diamondbacks amassed 16 hits, one short of their season high. They have at least 10 hits in each of their last five games.
Kennedy didn’t benefit, though.
Despite being spotted a 7-2 lead, Kennedy got a no decision after failing to make it through the fifth inning.
He allowed five runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings, striking out two, walking two and hitting a batter.
Maholm, whose last win was May 9, went just 3 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. He allowed seven runs, six earned, and nine hits. He didn’t strike out a batter, walked three, and hit a batter.
The Cubs dropped to 10-28 on the road.
Upton’s home run, followed by Maholm’s two-run homer, had Chicago ahead 2-1 in the fourth.
Then the Cubs helped the Diamondbacks get rolling in the bottom half of the inning.
With Arizona runners at first and third and one out, the third baseman Valbuena threw wide to first base after bobbling Hill’s grounder as the tying run scored. Upton followed with an RBI single, and Jason Kubel doubled two home and scored on Goldschmidt’s triple to the right field corner. Montero singled in Goldschmidt for the sixth run of the inning, ending the night for Maholm.
Notes: Miley (8-3, 2.30 ERA) will face the Cubs’ Matt Garza (3-5, 4.07) on Sunday. Chicago is 3-15 against left-handed starters and is batting .220 against left-handed pitching. … Arizona placed LHP Joe Saunders on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 17, a move that could clear the way for the major league debut of top pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. Gibson confirmed that Bauer, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, is a candidate to take Saunders’ next start. … Arizona’s second-largest home crowd of the season (38,542) put the team over 1 million for the season in 36 games. The Diamondbacks needed 42 games to top 1 million last year. … There were 22 runners were left on base, 12 by Arizona.