D-backs knocked down again
CHICAGO — Brandon McCarthy is concerned that there is too much negativity surrounding the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks made a couple more key mistakes in losing their fourth straight, 9-2 to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
Arizona has lost 10 of 11.
"I’ve been on a few bad teams, but (the frustration is) usually was spaced out with some positivity and some rays of hope," the right-hander McCarthy said. "This is just a different animal right now."
McCarthy (0-4) lowered his ERA from 7.11 to 6.23 and pitched well early, but things spiraled in the fifth. He allowed five runs — one earned — and seven hits in five innings
The Cubs broke through in the third. Luis Valbuena stroked a one-out double to left-center and then scored two batters later on a two-out single by Nate Schierholtz.
The lead stretched to 2-0 when Schierholtz drove in Valbuena for the second time on a sacrifice fly to right field. Valbuena led off the inning with a single, went to second on a groundout and then reached third as Arizona second baseman Martin Prado muffed Anthony Rizzo’s grounder for an error.
"It was a carbon copy of the game (yesterday)," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We made an error there, gave them life."
The Cubs weren’t done yet. Given the extra out, Starlin Castro singled to put two runners on and Olt followed with a homer into the right-field bleachers for a 5-0 lead.
"We were moving along all right and then it was really one bad pitch. … a 3-1 sinker away that I like my odds usually with," McCarthy said. "He did a good job of staying back on it and driving it. It’s kind of the way it’s been going."
All four runs were unearned because of Prado’s error.
Jason Hammel (3-1) allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings to earn the win lower his ERA to 2.60.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria was pleased with his starters performance.
"Very nice job," Renteria said. "He got some groundball double plays when he needed to. Made some pitches when he needed to. It was pretty efficient."
Hammel faced the minimum through 4 2-3 innings with help from a pair of double plays, including one in the fourth in which Prado was doubled off at first on a failed hit-and-run when Paul Goldschmidt lined out sharply.
"I started Prada on the 3-2 pitch to Goldie and he of course hit it right to them," said Gibson, whose team is a league worst 5-18. "That’s the way it’s going."
The Cubs, who’ve won three of four, have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. They last won consecutive games on Sept. 9 and 10 of last season against the Cincinnati Reds. Their last consecutive home wins came on Sept. 4 and 6 against Miami and Milwaukee.
Arizona finally got on the board against Hammel in the sixth when Tuffy Gosewisch led off with a homer. It was Gosewisch’s first hit of the season after starting 0 for 12.
The Cubs then broke things open with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, and the Diamondbacks got one back in the ninth.
"Everybody has their answers and I don’t know what the right one is," McCarthy said. Everybody’s looking and searching and doing everything they can do, but it just keeps happening and happening."
Diamondbacks OF Mark Trumbo didn’t start because of soreness in his left foot. The injury occurred late in Monday’s game.