It looked early on as though the Chicago Cubs (3-4) were headed for another disappointing loss in a simulated season that has already had a few. But they got a big swing from Anthony Rizzo and were able to scratch out some runs late in a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks (4-4), via MLB The Show 20.
Yu Darvish started the opener of this three-game set with Arizona and was extremely strong. The righty threw seven innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out nine batters. He surrendered two earned runs, both coming in the 3rd inning as Kole Calhoun opened the frame with a single and came around to score on a Starling Marte double. After Marte stole third base, shortstop Nick Ahmed knocked a base hit that gave the D-Backs a 2-0 lead.
That’s where the score would stay until the bottom of the 6th. Left-hander Robbie Ray pitched well overall against the Cubs, shutting them out for the first five innings before Kris Bryant hit a one-out single to set the table for Rizzo. It took only one pitch for the slugging first baseman to tie the game.
The Cubs took the lead in the 7th against right-hander Mike Leake as Willson Contreras hit a double to start the rally. He moved to third on a single by Steven Souza Jr., then came home to score on a squeeze bunt by David Bote. Chicago tacked on another run in the 8th inning, this time on a Contreras sacrifice fly that followed singles by Rizzo and Javier Báez.
That gave Craig Kimbrel a 4-2 lead, which was plenty for him to work with in the 9th inning. Kimbrel allowed a hit – a single by Calhoun – but also struck out two batters on his way to his first save of the season.
Notes: Rizzo’s homer off of Ray is his first of the season and the 55th of his career against a left-handed pitcher. Coming into today’s game, he was 3-for-16 in his career against Ray with no home runs … It has been an awkward move to the bullpen for Leake, who now has a 10.80 ERA after allowing two runs to the Cubs on Friday. He had started 296 of his 301 major league games in his career prior to this season.
Rizzo – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Bryant – 2-for-4, R
Contreras – 1-for-2, 2B, BB
Darvish – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 9 K
S. Marte – 1-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB (2 CS)
Calhoun – 2-for-3, BB, R
Walker – 2-for-4, 2 2B
Ray – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K
Winning Pitcher – Darvish (2-0)
Losing Pitcher – Leake (0-1)
Save – Kimbrel (1)
Home Runs – Rizzo (1)