Bullpen Shines As Arizona Diamondbacks Defeat Chicago Cubs 6-1 In Series Opener

The 24-45 (10-26 away) Chicago Cubs find themselves taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks in a weekend matchup at Chase Field. The D-backs, winners of 2 of 3 games against the Seattle Mariners, were hoping to keep their winning ways alive against another inferior team. Things got off to a shaky start, but the Diamondbacks managed to piece everything together.

Right before the first pitch was thrown, it was announced that the presumed starter, Joe Saunders had been scratched from the game due to his inability to get loose in the bullpen. Speculation was abound as to whether or not he had an undisclosed injury or if he had even possibly been traded.

Instead, Josh Collmenter took the mound after having been relegated to the bullpen earlier this season. All started well for Collmenter as he threw a shutout through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, he allowed a towering solo home run to Geovany Soto, making the score 1-0.

Jason Kubel retaliated by hitting a two-run blase of his own in the bottom of the inning. The bomb into left field put the D-backs up by a score of 2-1.

Collmenter was relieved by Brad Ziegler after the fourth inning. He gave up just one earned run and had six strikeouts on 85 pitches in what could be called a short order start. In exchange, Ziegler then proceeded to hit his first career major league hit in the bottom of the fifth after staying in to pitch another inning. That led to a series of hits from Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill, sending Ziegler across the plate and making the score 3-1.

Continuing their scoring efforts, Miguel Montero hit a triple, scoring both Jason Kubel and the previously walked Paul Goldschmidt. That marked Montero's first triple of the season and just the fourth in his career. That was followed up by a ground rule double in the seventh by Justin Upton, giving him his 28th RBI in 2012.

Closing out the rest of the game were Craig Breslow, Bryan Shaw and David Hernandez (who also got his first career hit in the 8th inning).

The D-backs will continue their series against the Cubs tomorrow night when Ian Kennedy (5-7) takes on Paul Maholm (4-5).

Get more Diamondbacks coverage over at AZ Snakepit.

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