Game Twenty-One: Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 5
WP – Mike Bolsinger (1-1) LP – Edwin Jackson (1-2) Save – Addison Reed (5)
The Cubs had a shot at winning their first series of the season, but Edwin Jackson struggled with his command early, the offense could not string together any hits and the Cubs settled for a split of the four-game series with the Diamondbacks.
Mike Bolsinger earned his first big league victory on Thursday at the ballpark he grew up only a few blocks from. Not only did Bolsinger limit the Cubs to one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings, he also collected his first hit, a RBI single off Edwin Jackson in the second inning. The Cubs allowed Bolsinger to get comfortable on the mound and he did. Bolsinger surrendered only four hits with two walks in his second big league start while striking out seven batters.
The Cubs once again had plenty of chances to score runs. The Cubs let Bolsinger off the hook in the first inning after loading the bases with one out and scoring only one run. The Cubs finished the day with five hits, two walks and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving six men on base.
Anthony Rizzo (1-for-4 with a home run) was responsible for both of the Cubs runs. Rizzo was not given a RBI in the first inning when Emilio Bonifacio (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) scored on a ball Rizzo hit to left that was misplayed by Roger Kieschnick. Rizzo hit his third longball of the season in the eighth inning off of lefty Oliver Perez, the Cubs’ second run.
Welington Castillo (1-for-4) and Edwin Jackson (1-for-2 with a double) collected the Cubs other two hits.
Edwin Jackson really struggled in the first two innings. Jackson gave up a run in the first and two more in the second while missing his spots by feet again and not inches. Jackson settled down after the second inning and retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced. Jackson pitched a season-high seven innings. And technically notched his first quality start of the year.
Edwin Jackson allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Jackson threw 104 pitches, 64 for strikes, in seven innings of work.
Jose Veras pitched the eighth inning and was not good once again. Veras walked the first batter he faced before giving up a run scoring double to Paul Goldschmidt and a RBI single to Miguel Montero. Arizona removed any doubt they would win the last game of the series in the eighth inning with Veras on the hill. Veras gave up two runs on two hits with a walk and no strikeouts in one inning.
Wesley Wright pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
With Thursday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 7-14 on the season.
The Diamondbacks made solid contact against Edwin Jackson in the first inning, but managed only one run. Gerardo Parra led off the game with a single to left. Martin Prado smoked a liner to left (2-0 pitch) that Kalish hauled in for the first out. Paul Goldschmidt popped out to Castro in shallow center for the second out. Miguel Montero pulled a 3-2 pitch to deep right. Parra scored on the two-out double, 1-0 Arizona. Jackson walked Aaron Hill before striking out Roger Kieschnick swinging to end the inning. Jackson threw 22 pitches in the first inning.
Emilio Bonifacio led off the Cubs’ first with a hustle double to left center. The ball beat Bonifacio to second so Kirk Gibson asked for a review. The call on the field was confirmed after a lengthy review and Gibson lost his challenge in the first inning. Luis Valbuena walked and put runners on first and second with no outs. Anthony Rizzo hit a liner to left that Kieschnick tried to make a sliding catch on. The D-Backs left fielder misplayed the ball, Bonifacio raced around third and slid in safe at home to tie the game at one. Schierholtz struck out swinging (1-2 pitch) for the first out. Starlin Castro walked to load the bases with one down. Bolsinger froze Mike Olt with a 1-2 pitch for the second out and Welington Castillo flied out to deep right center to end the inning.
The Cubs made Bolsinger throw 29 pitches in the first inning, 16 for strikes, but the offense let him off the hook.
Edwin Jackson continued his struggles in the second inning. Jackson walked Cliff Pennington to start the inning. Tony Campana looked at three straight out of the zone before Jackson got one over. Campana lashed Jackson’s 3-1 pitch down the left field line. Pennington was running with the pitch and scored from first after Kalish misplayed the ball. Kalish got too close to the sidewall and the ball skipped under his glove and back into left field. Campana ended up at third as the D-Backs took a 2-1 lead. Mike Bolsinger ripped a 0-1 offering into left. Campana scored and Arizona took a 3-1 lead. Parra grounded into a 1-6-3 double play and Prado grounded out to Valbuena at second base to end the inning. Jackson needed 40 pitches, 23 for strikes, to complete two innings on Thursday afternoon.
Mike Bolsinger and Edwin Jackson settled in after the second inning. And the score remained 3-1 until the eighth inning.
Jose Veras replaced Edwin Jackson to start the eighth, and it was more of the same for the struggling Veras. Gerardo Parra walked to start the inning. Kirk Gibson called for a hit and run on a 1-0 pitch to Martin Prado. Prado grounded out to short, Parra advanced to second and scored when Paul Goldschmidt hooked a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner. Miguel Montero followed with a single to right and the Diamondbacks increased their lead to 5-1. Aaron Hill grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Anthony Rizzo cut the D-Backs lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth when he pulled a 3-1 pitch from lefty Oliver Perez into the bleachers in right. Perez struck out Nate Schierholtz for the second out of the inning. Gibson went to his pen for Brad Ziegler. Starlin Castro grounded out to short for the third out.
Wesley Wright kept Arizona off the board in the ninth, but for the second day in a row, the Cubs did nothing against Addison Reed in the ninth inning.
The Cubs open a three-game series in Milwaukee on Friday night (7:05pm CDT). Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to face Matt Garza in the opener.