MLB: Diamondbacks look to top Cubs, win fourth straight series
The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to win their fourth consecutive series when they host the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night in Phoenix.
Arizona opened the three-game series with a 4-3 victory on Friday night, the team’s eighth win in the last 10 games.
Ketel Marte led the way with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and Josh Rojas scored what proved to be the winning run on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
It was the seventh loss in the last nine games for Chicago, which hasn’t won consecutive games since April 17-18.
The Cubs will turn to right-hander Kyle Hendricks (2-3, 4.38 ERA) on Saturday, with Arizona countering with right-hander Zac Gallen (2-0, 0.95).
Hendricks is coming off a 6-0 win at San Diego on Monday, allowing just three singles over 8 2/3 innings and coming within one out from pitching his first complete-game shutout since July 24, 2020.
Hendricks, who talked manager David Ross into allowing him to go out for the ninth on Monday, left after issuing a two-out walk to Jake Cronenworth and throwing 116 pitches. Scott Effross then got Manny Machado to ground out to end the game.
“I felt really good,” Hendricks said. “I established my fastball down in the zone. There were a couple of hard-hit balls, but they were down — not up over the middle of the plate where it could hurt.”
“It’s amazing. I love watching Kyle pitch,” said shortstop Nico Hoerner, who sat out Friday’s loss to rest a sore right ankle. “Obviously, his style of pitching isn’t common in the game anymore. It’s just incredible to see a guy with a mastery of his craft like that against not just any team, but a really strong lineup in their ballpark.”
Hendricks is 4-2 with a 3.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Diamondbacks, including 3-1 with a 3.76 ERA in four starts at Chase Field.
Gallen has won his last two starts against Miami and Colorado after garnering a no-decision against the Dodgers on April 27. He has allowed just two earned runs and 12 hits over 19 1/3 innings during that span while walking two and striking out 17.
Gallen pitched seven shutout innings in his last start, a 4-0 win over Colorado on Sunday. He allowed five hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out seven. He left after throwing 92 pitches, 61 for strikes.
“My job is to hang zeros and give our offense a chance to squeeze some runs for us,” Gallen said. “Felt good and sharper as the game went along.”
Gallen hasn’t given up more than two runs or five hits in any of his five starts this season. He is 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs.
“He’s on a good run,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s because of the hard work and everything he’s doing when nobody is watching. He’s executing. That’s the name of the game. He’s dotting up his fastball. His secondary stuff, I’m sure, is tunneling very, very well. It’s deceptive and it’s powerful. He’s on a great run.”
–Field Level Media