Saturday, April 9, 2016

Yas they can: D-backs hand Cubs first loss

Yasmany Tomas singled home pinch-runner Chris Owings with the game-winning run in the ninth inning as the D-backs handed the Cubs their first loss of the season in walk-off fashion, 3-2, on Friday night at Chase Field.
Former Cubs catcher Welington Castillo singled with one out in the ninth off Trevor Cahilland was promptly replaced by Owings. After a groundout moved him to second, Tomas delivered with a sinking line-drive single to left as Owings scored easily.
"That was a tough pitch he hit," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Tomas. "That was about Adam's apple high and he got on top."
The Cubs built a 2-0 lead in the third inning when they took advantage of four walks byRobbie Ray. Chicago starter Jason Hammel deserved a better fate, having allowed just one run over six innings.
The D-backs' lone run off Hammel came in the sixth when Jean Segura, who had a three-hit night, led off with a single, stole second and scored one out later on Paul Goldschmidt's line-drive single to center. Hammel, though, was able to prevent further damage before turning things over to the bullpen.
Getting innings: After Rubby De La Rosa lasted just 3 1/3 frames Thursday night, the D-backs desperately needed innings from Ray, and he came through with six, which allowed the bullpen to at least get a little bit of rest. Ray showed the improved pitch efficiency the team was looking for in his first two innings before laboring through a 34-pitch third.
"Early [on], I was getting a lot of early outs and it was just that one inning where I just kind of lost a little bit of my focus and had those walks," Ray said of the third.
Goldy delivers: After Segura led off the eighth with a double to right-center and advanced to third on a groundout, Cubs manager Joe Maddon elected to pitch to Goldschmidt rather than walk him and bring in Wood, who was warming in the bullpen, to face the left-handed hittingDavid Peralta. Goldschmidt hit a sharp single back through the middle to tie the game.
"We were not trying to throw that pitch," Maddon said of Pedro Strop's 95-mph fastball to Goldschmidt. "We just threw that pitch on that count. We had a different strategy set up, but it didn't play out, and that's the way it happens sometimes. He could've struck him out, get a ground ball at somebody, pop him up. The guy on deck [Peralta] is a pretty good hitter, too. Give Goldschmidt a lot of credit there."
Maddon did not consider intentionally walking Goldschmidt.
"Strop is pretty good and made him look pretty bad [Thursday]," Maddon said. "I liked the matchup with the breaking ball. He just didn't get to it."
Unique double play: The Cubs threatened to break the game open in the fifth when they had runners on first and third with no outs. After Ray fanned Ben ZobristAnthony Rizzo hit a grounder to Goldschmidt at first. Dexter Fowler broke from third and Goldschmidt threw home to trap him in a rundown. Fowler was eventually tagged out and the D-backs completed the 3-2-5-2-6-9 double play when right fielder David Peralta covered first and caught Rizzo straying.
"I've never been part of a play where the outfielder comes in like that," Goldschmidt said. "It's one of those plays you talk about a lot during Spring Training, and you're kind of like as a player, 'We'll see if this ever happens.'"
Start me up: Hammel posted a quality start, but he got a no-decision in his season debut. The right-hander gave up two straight hits to start the game, but he escaped a potential mess when David Peralta hit into an inning-ending double play. Hammel retired 10 in a row, but he then walked three of the next six batters he faced. If he had gotten the win, it would've been the first time since 1934 that a Cubs starter picked up a "W" in each of the first four games of the season.
Walk this way: The Cubs began the day leading the National League in walks, and they added to that total in the third, taking advantage of some wildness by Ray. The lefty walked four in the inning, including Jason Heyward with the bases loaded to force in a run. Another run scored when Zobrist hit into a fielder's choice. Fowler drew one of the walks that inning, and he went 2-for-3 for his fourth straight multihit game.
"You can't be an oil painting every night." -- Maddon, on the game
Segura became the first player in D-backs history to record multiple hits in each of his first five games to start a season.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks will make his season debut on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. CT in the third game of this four-game showdown in the desert. Hendricks quietly and efficiently secured the fifth starter spot this spring.
D-backs: Zack Greinke will make his second start of the year at 5:10 MST, and the right-hander no doubt is hoping for a better result than Opening Day, when he allowed seven runs and lasted just four innings.

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