Posted June 21, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Angels
The Chicago Cubs have yet to win a road series outside their own city. A visit to the Arizona Diamondbacks doesn't offer a promising chance to end that drought.
The Diamondbacks will try to add to their recent success at Chase Field during Friday night's opener of a three-game series.
Chicago (24-45) managed to win its first road series of the season earlier this week, taking the first two games of their series on the South Side versus the White Sox before losing 7-0 in Wednesday's finale.
"You just always try to win series back to back and keep winning series, especially when you haven't won a lot," manager Dale Sveum told the team's website. "If you keep winning series, you can gradually get back into this thing in some kind of fashion anyway."
Sveum's club might have a difficult task in its next attempt to earn more road wins as the Diamondbacks (34-35) have won nine of 11 at home.
They produced a combined 30 runs and 41 hits while taking two of three over visiting Seattle earlier this week and ended that set by winning a 14-10 slugfest. Ryan Roberts' inside-the-park homer was one of a team record-tying six for Arizona.
Justin Upton's three-run shot was his first home run since May 23 and sixth this season after hitting a career-high 31 in 2011.
"We need him to be that guy," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's capable of being that guy. If he can turn it around, it'll certainly help where we're headed."
Upton and the Diamondbacks will try to keep things going against Jeff Samardzija (5-5, 4.04 ERA), who will seek to avoid dropping a career-worst third consecutive start.
The right-hander matched a personal high by giving up eight runs over 3 2-3 innings in Minnesota on June 9 but had a better outing Saturday against Boston. He gave up three runs and four hits over 5 1-3 innings but did not get any run support in a 4-3 defeat.
His counterpart in Friday's game, Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44), is also hoping to get some more support after suffering a tough-luck defeat to his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, on Saturday. The left-hander gave up two runs over six innings for the second straight outing in that 2-0 loss.
"Joe pitched a great game for us, battled his tail off, and really only made one mistake (a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo)," Gibson said.
While Samardzija is making his first start against Arizona, Saunders is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in his two against the Cubs. He gave up two runs and five hits over six innings during a 4-1 loss at Wrigley Field on April 4, 2011.
Alfonso Soriano, who hit three homers in a four-game series last year in Arizona, is batting .382 with 12 homers and 25 RBIs over his last 16 games against the Diamondbacks. The 12 home runs are his most versus any team over the last four seasons.
Miguel Montero hit .346 with two home runs in the seven games against the Cubs last season. Roberts also hit a pair of homers in the season series and is batting .353 over his last five matchups.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
It was a night for 3B as Josh Vitters kept up his breakout year hitting his 11th HR. Vitters OPS is now .805.
How many times did Jackson strike out? 2.
Junior Lake was 4-5 with a double and his 7th SB and is hitting .318. This is somewhat of a breakout year for Lake as his production is finally matching the tools we always heard about. He is currently sporting...
Four AZL Cubs pitchers combined to throw a six-hitter with 16 strikeouts, and the Cubs took advantage of a gaffe by the AZL Giants manager to push across two runs in the bottom of the seventh, en route to a 3-1 Arizona League Opening Night victory at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
There is a 35-man roster limit in the AZL, but only 30 of the players (of which at least ten...
Yesterday marked the end of my Brett Jackson bandwagon phase. Its entirely possible he pans out but I don't see star anymore with the way he strikes out. He has made no improvement this year in that regard in fact getting worse while his walk rate declines. On the positive side Brooks Raley struck out 7 in 7 and Rizzo stayed healthy.
Alcantara went 2-4 and Matt...
EYE ON THE PRIZE
Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro made an unbelievable play during Tuesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox as he managed to grab the ball with his bare hand after his attempt at an over-the-shoulder catch popped out of his glove. It happened in the bottom of the fifth inning on a blooper hit White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza. Video via Yahoo! Sports....
PHOENIX -- Stephen Drew is expected to make his return to the major leagues on Wednesday, a little more than 11 months after suffering a devastating right ankle injury on a play at home plate.
Drew, who spent the previous two weeks at Class AAA Reno, will finish his rehab assignment at Class AA Mobile this weekend, manager Kirk Gibson said, and if all goes well he will join the...
Nearly four months ago, five friends and a 3-month-old goat set off from Mesa, Ariz., on the strangest journey of their lives.
With a desire to end the Chicago Cubs' fabled "Curse of the Billy Goat" and, more importantly, raise money for cancer research, the group journeyed by foot from the team's spring training home all the way to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Chicago Cubs fans making the trek to Arizona or tuning in to see the call-up of first base prospect Anthony Rizzo were sorely disappointed Friday. Not only did the Cubs lose 6-1 to the Diamondbacks, but the club did not call up Rizzo from Class AAA Iowa. Speculation has been rampant that the Cubs would bring up the 22-year-old phenom, in part because the Cubs were far away from...
The first three months of the season have not been kind to the Diamondbacks. An extra-innings loss on Tuesday brings the defending National League West champions’ record to 33-35, nine games out of first place. However, Arizona is better than their record suggests. They are one busted slump, one injury return, and one trade away from contending for a playoff spot.
PHOENIX -- In an all-out slugfest with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, six Diamondbacks hit home runs, tying a franchise record for a single game. No one needed a homer more than embattled right fielder Justin Upton.
The day after going hitless in five at-bats and hearing boos from the Chase Field crowd, Upton launched a three-run home run 457 feet to left-center field in the...
Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders has been scratched from his start against the Chicago Cubs because he couldn't get loose in the bullpen.
Saunders went through his warmups before Friday night's game, but the team announced just before the first pitch that right-hander Josh Collmenter was taking his place.
Saunders had a decent outing his last time out, allowing...
Tim Lincecum (credits below) I won’t be doing the self-rating this week. It will be an every-other week thing, so that it doesn’t become redundant.
Sell High: Bryan LaHair
One of the nice surprises of 2012 has been Bryan LaHair, who has both invigorated Cubs fans and infuriated them. LaHair has provided the Cubs with the dilemma of whether to sell on LaHair to make...
Ryan Roberts hit an inside-the-park home run, Justin Upton ended a long drought with a three-run shot and the Arizona Diamondbacks tied a franchise record with six homers during a wild 14-10 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
Miguel Montero hit a two-run homer, Aaron Hill connected for the third straight game, and Jason Kubel and John McDonald each had a solo shot to match...
PHOENIX (AP) -- Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer and five relievers filled in for scratched starter Joe Saunders to lift the Arizona Diamondback to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Saunders had trouble getting loose in the bullpen, so the Diamondbacks turned to one-time starter Josh Collmenter. He gave up a long homer to Geovany Soto in the fourth and Brad Ziegler...
PHOENIX (AP) -- Ryan Roberts hit an inside-the-park home run, Justin Upton ended a long drought with a three-run shot and the Arizona Diamondbacks tied a franchise record with six homers during a wild 14-10 win over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
Miguel Montero hit a two-run homer, Aaron Hill connected for the third straight game, and Jason Kubel and John McDonald each had a...
MLB Interleague Matchup Insight M’s vs Diamondbacks Game 3
It looks like another lost season in the Pacific Northwest. The Mariners own the second worst record in the American League and even the mighty King Felix Hernandez seems to have caught the underperformance bug this season.
Wednesday June 20
Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ
Moneyline: Arizona -160, Seattle +150...