Game Eighty-Four – Cubs 6 Diamondbacks 4
WP – Carlos Silva (9-2) LP – Barry Enright (1-1) Save – Carlos Marmol (16)
The Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night behind another tremendous start from Carlos Silva … and two home runs from Aramis Ramirez. Silva pitched six strong innings, gave up only two runs on four hits and posted a win for the first time since June 7.
Aramis Ramirez hit not one, but two two-run homers at Chase Field. Tuesday was the 22nd multi-homer game for Ramirez and his first since August 23, 2008. Ramirez led the way for the offense but it was Kosuke Fukudome’s second homer in as many games that put the Cubs on the board in the sixth.
After hitting only one longball in May and one in June, Fukudome’s second dinger in July tied the game at one. Derrek Lee (2-for-5 with a double and a run scored) doubled with one out in the sixth and was along for the ride on Ramirez’s first homer of the night.
The Cubs offense scored six runs on 11 hits against the dismal Diamondbacks pitching staff after managing only three hits in the first five innings. Seven of the Cubs 11 hits went for extra bases … three doubles, a triple and three home runs.
Carlos Silva’s surprising first half continued Tuesday night. Silva worked fast, threw strikes and notched another quality start. Silva made only one mistake in his six innings of work … he served up a solo homer to Kelly Johnson in the sixth. Silva appeared to tweak his calf again Tuesday night in the fourth and left after throwing only 74 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol pitched the final three innings … and Marmol picked up a five out save. An error by Starlin Castro in the eighth extended the inning and allowed the D’Backs to make the game a lot closer than it needed to be.
Sean Marshall allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Marshall threw just nine pitches in the seventh but ended up throwing 17 in the eighth while recording only one out. It took Marmol 31 pitches, 25 for strikes, to pick up the save. Marmol struck out five without a walk in 1 2/3 innings.
Tuesday night was all about Aramis Ramirez. Piniella admitted after the game the Cubs have been waiting for Aramis to heat up.
Lou Piniella’s crew won for the second day in a row for the first time since June 16 – June 17 against the A’s … and won only their third road series of the year. With Tuesday’s victory, the Cubs won a series in Arizona for the first time since 2003. The Cubs improved to 37-47 on the year … 10 games below the mediocre mark. Tuesday night looked like it was going to be another repeat performance for the Chicago Cubs … in more than one way. Lou’s crew looked lifeless early on against Barry Enright and appeared to be on their way to ruining another solid start by Carlos Silva.
The D’Backs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second. Mark Reynolds walked with one out and advanced to third on a ground-rule double to left center by Adam LaRoche. The ball hopped over the eight-foot wall in left center and kept Reynolds from scoring.
Stephen Drew lined out to left, Reynolds tagged and scored … 1-0 D’Backs.
Silva then retired Gerardo Parra on a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.
The turning point in the game came in the fourth. While ‘Cy’ Enright was busy mesmerizing the Cubs offense, Arizona put runners on first and third with no outs against Silva. Justin Upton singled to center, a wild pitch advanced him to second and he took third on a single to center by Miguel Montero.
Silva struck out Mark Reynolds and induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Adam LaRoche to get out of the jam.
Silva retired the D’Backs in order in the fifth on six pitches, and then the Cubs offense got the job done in the sixth.
Kosuke Fukudome ripped a 2-1 pitch from Enright just over the wall in right center. Fukudome’s eighth of the year tied the game at one.
Ryan Theriot then lined Enright’s first pitch into left center. Theriot made another baserunning blunder and tried to stretch a double into a triple. The D’Backs executed the relay perfectly and Theriot was nailed at third. Theriot’s lack of fundamentals hurts his team on a daily basis and it almost did once again Tuesday night.
Derrek Lee doubled off the wall in left center but Colvin struck out swinging. With two outs and the game tied at one, Aramis Ramirez launched Enright’s first pitch over the wall in left … 3-1 Cubs.
Silva gave up a solo shot to Kelly Johnson in the sixth that cut the Cubs’ lead to 3-2.
The offense went back to work in the seventh. Geovany Soto (2-for-4 with a run scored) singled to center with one out. Xavier Nady hit for Silva and walked … but two wild pitches from Sam Demel during Nady’s at bat advanced Soto to third.
Kosuke Fukudome was left in to hit against the southpaw Jordan Norberto and struck out. Ryan Theriot came through with a two-out single to center that plated Soto with the Cubs’ fourth run.
Aaron Heilman took the hill for Kirk Gibson in the eighth and promptly walked Tyler Colvin (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored). Aramis Ramirez ripped a 2-2 offering from Heilman just over the wall in left center and gave the Cubs a 6-2 lead.
It turned out the Cubs would need all of the runs on Tuesday night.
Rusty Ryal doubled to left center off Marshall with one-out in the eighth. Chris Young reached on Starlin Castro’s 12th error of the year. With runners on first and second with one out, Kelly Johnson singled to right. Ryal scored … 6-3 Cubs.
Piniella went to the pen for Carlos Marmol.
With runners on first and third with one out, Justin Upton singled to left and plated Young with Arizona’s fourth run. Marmol struck out Montero and Reynolds to end the inning.
Marmol struck out three more in the ninth but a wild pitch on strike three to Adam LaRoche brought the tying run to the plate. Marmol struck out Stephen Drew, induced a pop out off the bat of Chris Snyder and struck out Rusty Ryal to end the game.
The Cubs won back-to-back games and for as tough as this season has been, take ’em any way you can get ’em.
Ryan Dempster will face Mr. No Hitter Wednesday night … Dempster versus Edwin Jackson in the season finale against the D’Backs.