Ketel Marte on Sunday homered and Arizona got a great performance from their bullpen as the Diamondbacks defeated the skidding Chicago Cubs 6-2 to pass them for the second National League wild-card spot.
Arizona completed a three-game sweep and handed the Cubs their fifth straight loss. The Diamondbacks won three of four at Wrigley Field and finished 6-1 against Chicago this season.
The latest victory moved Arizona half a game ahead of Chicago for the second National League wild card, while the Cubs fell into a tie with Miami for the league’s final playoff berth. Cincinnati are half a game behind, while San Francisco are two back.
Photo: Allan Henry-USA Today
Four relievers combined to pitch 5-2/3 scoreless innings for Arizona, giving up three hits and no walks. That came after the Diamondbacks won a 13-inning game on Saturday that took 4 hours, 24 minutes.
“You’re always curious about how your team is going to respond,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Our guys were ready and I couldn’t be more proud of the statement they made.”
The immediate response was a three-run first inning against Cubs rookie left-hander Jordan Wicks (3-1). Arizona loaded the bases with no outs, and Christian Walker blooped one into center for an RBI, although he lost the hit when Taiwanese-American outfielder Corbin Carroll was forced at third base on a throw from center fielder Mike Tauchman.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr followed with an RBI double and Emmanuel Rivera added a sacrifice fly.
Marte’s two-run homer off Jose Cuas in the sixth inning made it 5-2 and the Diamondbacks added a run on Jace Peterson’s RBI double in the seventh.
“I was sitting on the two-seamer, but he hung a changeup and I put my best swing on it,” Marte said.
Luis Frias (1-0) got five outs for his second major league win.
Chicago scored in the second inning on Tauchman’s RBI single. After loading the bases with nobody out in the third, the Cubs settled for one run on Cody Bellinger’s double-play grounder.
“It’s been frustrating,” Bellinger said. “The past week there’s been a lot of unfortunate bounces. We’re still in a good spot.”
Lovullo, who pulled starter Zach Davies in the fifth inning on Saturday, had an even quicker hook on Sunday for Ryne Nelson. He went 3-1/3 innings, giving up two runs, four hits and three walks.
Wicks, making his fifth major league start, lasted 4-1/3 innings for the Cubs. He allowed four hits and three runs, walked three and struck out three.
Chicago matched their longest losing streak of the season.
“We weren’t very good,” Cubs manager David Ross said of the sweep. “They were better than we were in all aspects of the game. Just got beat all the way around.”
Elsewhere, the Orioles edged the Rays 5-4, the Marlins battered the Braves 16-2, the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 3-2, the Guardians routed the Rangers 9-2, the Mets mastered the Reds 8-4, the Pirates pipped the Yankees 3-2 and the Astros thrashed the Royals 7-1.
The Twins blanked the White Sox 4-0, the Cardinals edged the Phillies 6-5, the Giants downed the Rockies 11-10, the Padres routed the Athletics 10-1, the Tigers tamed the Angels 5-3, the Dodgers sank the Mariners 6-1 and the Nationals beat the Brewers 2-1 in 11 innings.
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