|6:40 PM PT7:40 PM MT8:40 PM CT9:40 PM ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 PM MST8:40 PM EST9:10 PM VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 PM CT, April 26, 2019
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona Attendance: 30,664
Cubs, Diamondbacks both rolling as series looms
The Chicago Cubs cooled off the Diamondbacks last weekend. Now they have another chance.
The Diamondbacks begin a five-game homestand with three games against the Cubs after an 8-2 road trip that opened with a three-game sweep in Atlanta and closed with a four-game sweep in Pittsburgh, capped off with a 5-0 victory on a rainy Thursday. In between, the Cubs took two of three in Wrigley Field.
Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks is to oppose left-hander Robbie Ray in the series opener Friday at Chase Field.
The Cubs are just as hot, having won seven of nine after taking two of three from both the Dodgers and the D-backs following a three-game sweep in Miami.
The Diamondbacks outscored the Pirates 30-7 in the four-game sweep, getting five homers and 21 extra-base hits.
"Everything seemed to match up," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "You are always looking for those spots and those moments. We hit the ball well and pitched the ball well. We'll enjoy it for about 30 seconds. We have to turn the page quickly."
A lot of Diamondbacks are rolling at the same time. First baseman Christian Walker is hitting 20-for-42 with six doubles, four homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 games, starting with a victory over San Diego in the final game of the previous homestand. He has seven multiple-hit games in that stretch.
Eduardo Escobar is 16-for-42 in his last 12 games, with five extra-base hits and eight RBIs. Ketel Marte homered from both sides of plate in the 10-2 victory Wednesday, becoming the 14th player in major league history to homer from both sides of the plate twice in the same season.
Zack Greinke tripled Thursday, becoming the first pitcher since 1906 to get all the hits of a cycle during the first month of a season, according to Sportsradar.
"We pride ourselves on being good hitters and slugging," Lovullo said.
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez has two homers during his four-game hitting streak, catcher Willson Contreras has reached in 12 straight games, and the pitching staff has played a vital run in the Cubs' recovery from a 1-6 start.
Cubs starters have a 1.68 ERA in the last in the last 12 games and have held opponents to a .179 batting average. Cubs starters have averaged a tad more than six innings per start in the last 11 games.
"I like the tried and true method," manager Joe Maddon said of letting his starters go deep. "I still feel it's the best way to go."
Hendricks (1-3) threw seven shutout innings in the 5-1 victory over Arizona last Friday, his first quality start and the first time he had gone more than five innings this season. He struck out a season-high 11, one short of his career high, and got David Peralta three times.
Hendricks helped extend the Cubs pitchers' streak of scoreless innings to 31 before the Diamondbacks scored in the ninth on Marte's double off reliever Brad Brach.
Ray (0-1) gave up four hits and one run in a no-decision in the Cubs' 2-1 victory in the finale of the three-game series Sunday, which the Cubs won on David Bote's walkout single in the last of the ninth inning. Bote left for Colorado shortly after the game to be with his wife, Rachel, for the birth of their third child.
Ray had trouble only with 3-4 hitters Anthony Rizzo and Baez. Rizzo had a single and a double, and he was hit by a pitch before Baez's two-out triple in the sixth inning drove in the Cubs' first run.
Baez also walked. Ray had his most efficient outing of the season, walking only one and using 92 pitches in six innings.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 25, 2019