D-backs’ struggles continue in opener with Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) — Three weeks into the season, Bronson Arroyo and the Arizona Diamondbacks feel as if they’re stuck in a rut and can’t get out.
That feeling only got worse Monday night after the Chicago Cubs and Travis Wood dealt the Diamondbacks a 5-1 loss, their ninth in 10 games.
Wood (1-2) hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs while also delivering seven strong innings opposite Arroyo.
Arroyo, who spent two seasons with Wood while with the Cincinnati Reds, said it was frustrating to have the pitcher do so much damage.
"It’s supposed to be the free out in the lineup," Arroyo said. "Tonight it obviously wasn’t. I mean, he pushed across almost all the runs. He’s always been good at the plate; that’s something you just don’t want to let beat you, but that’s the way it went tonight."
Arroyo (1-2) allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have the worst record in the majors at 5-17.
"When the results are the way they have been, regardless of how you feel physically, it makes you not feel like you’ve been amazing out there," Arroyo said. "It doesn’t really matter how strong you feel or really how great your stuff is when results don’t turn around. It’s just been a downhill slide for me and the ballclub in general. It just feels like you’re trapped in quicksand and haven’t been able to get out of it."
Catcher Welington Castillo hit a two-out bloop single to right field to score Starlin Castro from second to give Chicago a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Ryan Kalish followed Castillo’s RBI single with a single of his own to extend the inning. Arroyo then fell behind in the count 1-0 before Wood hit a hanging slider for a three-run shot into the left-field bleachers. It was Wood’s seventh career home run.
Wood drove in another run in the fourth with an RBI double that nicked off D-backs center fielder Tony Campana’s glove near the wall. Arroyo stranded Wood at second by getting Emilio Bonifacio to ground out to end the fourth, but the Cubs took a 5-0 lead into the fifth inning.
"It feels good that they kind of respect you up there and that you’re doing your job," Wood said. "I’m not out there in the nine hole just to fill a spot. You’ve got to try and be the best you can at it."
One of the Diamondbacks’ best chances to score against Wood came in the sixth. Arroyo led off with a broken-bat single to left field, and Chris Owings singled to put runners on first and second with nobody out. But Wood struck out Hill, got Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to right field and forced Martin Prado to pop out in foul territory to strand the runners.
Gibson was disappointed with his team’s approach at the plate when it mattered most.
"When you get runners in scoring position and get ahead in the count, you have to look for a pitch you can hit, a pitch you can drive, as opposed to swinging at pitcher’s pitch," Gibson said. "Overall, we haven’t done a good job of that. I think the numbers speak to that."
Diamondbacks left fielder Mark Trumbo hit his MLB-leading seventh home run in the seventh. Trumbo hit the first pitch he saw from Wood into the center-field bleachers to account for Arizona’s lone run on the night.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 1 minute because of rain. … Diamondbacks CF A.J. Pollock was not in the lineup Monday after leaving Sunday’s game against the Dodgers in the sixth inning with stiffness in the left side of his neck. Pollock will see a chiropractor and is day to day. … OF Gerardo Parra was given the day off Monday. Parra is hitting .160 in his last six games. "He’s played every game, and you see certain things in his game. He’s just grinding down a little bit," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Everything we’ve been going through, it’s been tough on everybody, and you just try and rotate the guys in and give guys a break."