CHICAGO, IL - JULY 15: Darwin Barney #15 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the 2nd inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on July 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

D-backs Get Swept By Lowly Cubs

This is not the start to the second half the D-backs were looking for.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Pittsburgh Pirates Serious About Acquiring Justin Upton, According To Report

With all the trade winds swirling around Arizona Diamondbacks rightfielder Justin Upton, at this point nothing might surprise anyone. However, one team name that has popped up might be a considered a surprise and that would be the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

According to Stark, the Pirates had scouts attending the game between the D-backs and the Chicago Cubs, and he also tweeted this:

Cole is right-handed pitching prospect Gerrit Cole and Taillon is another right-handed pitching prospect Jameson Taillon. Marte is an outfielder.

What is interesting is that Arizona already has pitching and outfield depth in the majors and in the minors. While any of those prospects certainly could be of interest to the team, it does not fill their needs at third base, shortstop or at catching prospects.

The trade deadline is quickly approaching, so these rumors will pick up speed as we get closer. Whether an actual deal comes out of it all still seems like a ways off, but you never know when teams get desperate, and Upton is the type of player that teams get desperate for.

Get more Diamondbacks coverage over at AZ Snakepit.

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Diamondbacks Bats Quiet, Kennedy Shelled In Loss To Cubs 8-1

No offensive punch. Poor starting pitching from the guy who contended for the NL Cy Young last year. Errors. Mistakes. It was just an ugly day for the Arizona Diamondbacks who took the field after an almost four-hour rain delay and by the time it was over they were wishing the game had been scratched.

It started with Ian Kennedy who gave up six runs off seven hits in five innings. His ERA is now up to 4.55 on the season and he's allowed four or more runs in four of his last six starts. Whatever Ian was doing well last summer, he's doing the opposite this time around.

Without Kennedy at the top of the rotation, the D-backs are missing that all important anchor. Kennedy's performances on the mound has been dragging them down instead of providing a steady base to work from.

The offense didn't offer much help either with just one run in the first inning to show to show for their "efforts" against the Cubs starter, Paul Maholm. Needless to say, a playoff-caliber squad needs to better against the like of Paul Maholm.

Alfonso Soriano provided the punch for Chicago. He had two home runs, two double and racked up five RBI to send the D-backs to sleep with an 8-1 loss. Sweet dreams, boys.

For more on this miserable game, visit AZ Snakepit.

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