Updated Jul 25, 2013 - 8:07 am
Grit Index: D-backs rally late, fall to Cubs in 12
Nate Schierholtz hit an RBI double in the 12th inning off reliever David Hernandez, as the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 in 12 innings on Wednesday night at Chase Field.
Hernandez got in trouble with a two-out walk to Anthony Rizzo, followed by a bad pitch to Schierholtz, who launched the go-ahead double into left field. Schierholtz went 3-for-6 with five RBIs against the D-backs on Wednesday night.
The D-backs can't say they didn't have their fair share of opportunities to win this game prior to Schierholtz's 12th inning heroics.
Arizona struggled to take advantage with runners on base. They had the bases loaded on four different occasions, but they were only able to scratch across two runs in those situations. Those runs came due to an error by Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney in the fifth.
The additional four Arizona runs came from a three-run homer by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and an RBI sacrifice fly by Cody Ross in the ninth that sent the game to extra innings.
The D-backs had additional opportunities with runners on base in the 10th and 11th innings, but couldn't cash in.
Starter Ian Kennedy started the game lights-out with his command, but in the fourth the wheels started to fall off. Kennedy allowed two runs in the fourth and four in the fifth. He surrendered six runs, two earned, on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over five innings of work.
The D-backs bullpen picked up the slack after Kennedy's short outing, before Hernandez was handed the loss after giving up a run in the 12th.
With the D-backs loss and the Dodgers win over the Blue Jays, Arizona fell 1.5 games behind L.A. in the National League West.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt continues to prove why he's an All-Star. He tied a club record with four walks and is hitting .383 with two home runs and 14 RBI in his last 17 games. He also hit the 50th home run of his career in the sixth inning.
- The Diamondbacks left a season-high 16 runners on base.
- Arizona starter Ian Kennedy is now winless in his last nine starts.
- Heath Bell recorded his first scoreless stint of two innings since August 27, 2010 against the Phillies. He allowed just one hit and struck out three in the 10th and 11th innings.
- The D-backs are 10-5 in extra-inning games this year. The 15 games are the most in the Major Leagues this season and tied for third-most in franchise history.
- Martin Prado is finding his groove. He's hitting .333 with four home runs and 16 RBI over his last 24 games.
He Said It:
"I mean we left a zillion guys on and not really swinging at good pitches in those situations, that's the tough part about it," D-backs' manager Kirk Gibson said. "We swung at marginal balls out of the zone. We certainly had our opportunities with bases loaded four or five times. We got nobody to blame but ourselves."
The Diamondbacks play the finale of this four-game series against the Cubs on Thursday at Chase Field. Lefty Wade Miley will get the start. He's 6-8 on the season with a 4.03 ERA but he's 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts. Miley has had just one career start against the Cubs and it was a 5-1 win on June 24, 2012. He allowed one earned run in eight innings pitched.
Carlos Villanueva will go for the Cubs. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 4.16 ERA this year. This will be his 12th start of the season. Villanueva is 1-1 with a save and 1.69 ERA in 11 career relief appearances against Arizona.
First pitch on Thursday is slated for 6:40 p.m. on Arizona Sports 620.
Kyndra de St. Aubin, Reporter - Arizona Sports 98.7
- Derrick Hall, D-backs president and CEO - Thursday April 24Did yesterday’s win save Kirk Gibson’s job?
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday April 23ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses what the D-backs need to do to turn things around.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday April 23What can be done to save the season?
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday April 22D-backs manager Kirk Gibson talks about the team's struggles.
- Bickley Blast - Monday April 21Dan goes off on the struggling D-backs.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB Insider - Thursday April 17Tim Kurkjian talks about the Diamondbacks' tough start to the season.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday April 17Bickley blasts Kevin Towers' philosophy and the need for an analytics GM.