National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, June 23rd (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (24-46) at Arizona Diamondbacks (35-35), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Paul Maholm (4-5, 4.88) Arizona - Ian Kennedy (5-7, 4.13)
(Sports Network) - Wins have been hard to come by lately for Arizona righty Ian Kennedy. Perhaps a start against the worst team in the National League can change that.
Tonight, Kennedy and the Diamondbacks continue their three-game set against the lowly Chicago Cubs at Chase Field.
Kennedy pitched well his last time out on Sunday in Anaheim, but lost for the seventh time in his last nine starts. Kennedy gave up two runs and six hits in eight innings of that one, but Arizona couldn't score and he dropped to 5-7 on the year to go along with a 4.13 ERA.
"They're trying as hard as they can," Kennedy said of his offense. "They're plugging away, they're working as hard as they can. I know that they want to do well and we're giving it all we have, too."
Kennedy has faced the Cubs three times and is 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA.
Wins have been even harder to come by for Chicago lefty Paul Maholm, who is just 4-5 this season and has not won in seven starts. Maholm did not get a decision on Sunday against Boston, as he surrendered three runs and six hits in six innings to lower his ERA to 4.88.
Maholm is 0-2 in five starts versus the D'Backs with a 4.08 ERA.
Arizona got back to .500 in Friday's opener, as Josh Collmenter and four other pitchers filled in for scheduled starter Joe Saunders in the Diamondbacks', 6-1, win.
Saunders was scratched after he was unable to get loose in the bullpen before the game, leaving Collmenter little time to prepare for his first start since April.
The right-hander responded with four innings, giving up a run on three hits and three walks while striking out six.
Not bad for a guy who found out on his way to the bullpen that he might need to start warming up.
"I saw that Joe was trying to get it loose and that something was not right," said Collmenter. "As we came out to listen to the anthem and lineup, they told me I was going to go in, so I tried to get loose as quickly as possible. I stretched out and was ready to go and it didn't take too long."
Brad Ziegler (4-1) got the win after giving up two hits and fanning three in two innings while Craig Breslow, Bryan Shaw and David Hernandez finished the game.
Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer and Miguel Montero had a two-run triple for the Diamondbacks, who have won three of four.
Geovany Soto hit a leadoff homer in the fourth inning for the game's first run, but it was the only one the Cubs scored as they fell to 6-14 in June.
Jeff Samardzija (5-6) lost his third straight start and was charged with five runs on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings. He struck out six.
Chicago took four of seven from Arizona last season.
06/23 10:29:34 ET