National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (24-45) at Arizona Diamondbacks (34-35), 9:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (5-5, 4.04)
Arizona - Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44)
(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks try to continue their recent home
prowess this evening when they open a three-game series against the Chicago
Cubs at Chase Field.
Arizona enters this series having won two of three at home from the Seattle
Mariners, including a 14-10 triumph in Wednesday's finale. Justin Upton
homered for the first time since May 23, as the Diamondbacks won for the ninth
time in 11 tries in front of their fans.
"We need him to be that guy," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of Upton, who
has just six home runs this season after a career-high 31 a year ago. "He's
capable of being that guy. If he can turn it around, it'll certainly help
where we're headed."
Arizona hit six home runs on Wednesday and scored 30 runs in the series.
Hoping for that same type of support tonight for the Diamondbacks will be
lefty Joe Saunders, who is 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA. Saunders lost for the second
time in three starts on Saturday in Anaheim, as he allowed two runs and eight
hits in six innings.
Saunders has lost both of his starts to the Cubs, pitching to a 7.27 ERA in
Chicago, meanwhile, won the first two games of its series with the White Sox,
but were denied a Windy City Series sweep on Wednesday, as it was routed, 7-0,
by the Pale Hose.
David DeJesus' double in the third and Starlin Castro's triple in the sixth
were the only extra-base hits for the Cubs, who have lost five of eight. Randy
Wells (1-2) was tagged for three runs on five hits with four walks over 3 2/3
"It's unacceptable," Wells said of his effort. "It's time to go back to the
Tonight, the Cubs will turn to righty Jeff Samardzija, who has lost four of
his last five decisions. Samardzija lost to Boston on Saturday, as he was
tagged for three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 frames, dropping him to 5-5 to go
along with a 4.04 ERA.
This will be Samardzija's first start versus the D'Backs.
Chicago took four of seven from Arizona last season.
06/22 10:29:04 ET