Arizona Diamondbacks Sweep Chicago Cubs, Surge Back Above .500

Kennedy struggles, but the Diamondbacks power burst continues with fifth straight game with six or more runs.

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Diamondbacks Score Six Runs In Fourth Inning, Roll On To 10-5 Win

The Arizona Diamondbacks are back over .500 for the season following their 10-5 win over the Chicago Cubs Saturday night. At least for a few hours until Sunday afternoon's game against the Cubs.

The Diamondbacks exploded for six runs in the fourth inning off Cubs starter Paul Maholm, on four singles, a triple and an error, and got solo home runs from Justin Upton and Paul Goldschmidt in powering to their third straight win and fourth in five games.

They moved to 36-35 on the season, the first time they've been over .500 since May 4 after a win over the New York Mets to raise the D-backs' record to 14-13 at that time.

Jason Kubel continued his torrid June with two more runs batted in, giving him 22 this month alone. That's tops in the National League.

All nine starters reached based at least once for the Diamondbacks, who led 1-0, trailed 2-1, led 7-2 and then watched No. 1 starter Ian Kennedy disintegrate in the fifth. That was the only blighted spot on a winning Saturday for the D-backs, that Kennedy -- on his bobblehead night for goodness sake -- was roughed up by the lowly Cubs for five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, tying the shortest outing for Kennedy this season.

The winning pitcher was Craig Breslow, who relieved Kennedy and allowed two hits with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.

Willie Bloomquist and Goldschmidt had three hits; Upton, Kubel, Ryan Roberts and Miguel Montero had two apiece. The Diamondbacks, with 38,542 fans in attendance at Chase Field Saturday, drew the second-largest crowd of the season to the stadium (after Opening Day) and moved over the 1 million-mark in total attendance for the season (1,004,439). They also got their biggest walk-up crowd of the season, around 4,500 fans.

Montero and Upton were both hit with pitches, Montero in the hand but he shook it off and remained in the game.

David DeJesus had four hits for the Cubs, tying a career high, and Starlin Castro also went 4-for-5, tying his career high.


Gibson Mum On Options To Replace Saunders In Rotation

Should we be too surprised that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson isn't forthcoming about what the D-backs will do to replace the injured Joe Saunders, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder Saturday after being scratched from his start right before Friday's game?

Nope. Playing it close to the vest is a Gibby staple.

But there are options, and Gibson said they're mostly internal. The most obvious one is to keep Josh Collmenter in the rotation after his solid four innings Friday, with the hope being that Collmenter has solved his problems as a starter from earlier in the season.

"He's just so versatile, he's got the experience," Gibson said before Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs, adding that it isn't likely but still possible the D-backs could look for a replacement outside the organization.

Collmenter makes the most sense, given that he'll be unavailable unless a game goes in to deep extra innings for the next two or three days anyway. But the D-backs lose their best long reliever in that case.

The off-day Monday might allow the D-backs to move Saturday's starter, Ian Kennedy, up a day to cover for the absence of Saunders. And then there is Trevor Bauer, waiting for his shot at the bigs down in Reno.

"He's a candidate, probably, as well as anybody. Is he ready? How do you know?" Gibson said. "There's certain things that he does great. We all know he's got great stuff... If I was Trevor...I would argue I'd get better with better competition, and I think that's probably how he thinks."

Patrick Corbin, who has big-league experience with five starts earlier this season, could also get a callup.

The good news for Saunders is that his shoulder problem appears to be just irritation and nothing more, though Saunders said he underwent an MRI Saturday morning.

Saunders said he's been told to take it easy for a few days and doesn't know when he will throw next, but he doesn't expect any major rehabilitation.

In his mind, he'd like to miss only one start.

"They don't want to keep having this come up and they just want to take care of it right now. So they're just playing the cautious role and shutting me down for a little while and then starting me back up and then I'll be all good to go for the rest of the year," Saunders said Saturday.

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