BY: ED COLE
PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Arizona Diamondbacks’ hitters did their jobs against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night. They put six runs on the scoreboard – five of them coming with two outs – but their bullpen mates couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
Arizona took a 6-4 lead into the eighth inning. The Cubs would scatter five runs across that inning and the ninth, and hand the Diamondbacks a 9-6 loss, snapping a six-game losing streak to Arizona in the process.
Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo destroyed Arizona’s pitching. He went 2-for-5 and had 6 RBI – three of them coming on a titanic home run in the top of the ninth, which broke a 6-all tie. The 6 RBI tied Rizzo’s career high he set back on September 16, 2012 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Rizzo’s been feasting on Arizona’s pitching lately. In his last six games vs. Arizona, he has five home runs and 11 RBI.
Pitcher Enrique Burgos not only gave up the game winning home run to Rizzo, he took the loss, dropping to 0-2 on the season. In his one inning of work, Burgos gave up two hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out three.
When you’re pitching to a dangerous hitter like Rizzo, ball placement is everything. Burgos’ pitch to Rizzo was low and over the plate, but it wasn’t low enough, because Rizzo got a hold of it and launched it nearly into the pool in right center field.
“Left handers like the ball down, but if we can get it down-down it’s a really good pitch. That’s their guy (Rizzo). It’s tough to watch him,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “They got him up there in leverage situations which is what you try to do with those guys. You can’t walk them or even pitch around them. He did a good job, he beat us tonight.”
In his last three starts, pitcher Rubby De La Rosa was 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA. De La Rosa had a fairly decent outing against Chicago on Saturday night. He pitched 6.0 innings and gave up four hits, four runs (all earned), two walks and he struck out eight.
De La Rosa was moving along pretty well until the fifth inning, when Chicago scored those four runs on him.
“It was pretty good. I thought everything was working good, except the fifth inning. (I) was a little confused about the count, about the hitters and I lost focus in that inning,” De La Rosa said.
De La Rosa felt the Cubs hitters caught onto him pretty quickly after seeing him a few times in the earlier innings. They were able to adjust to him, but he wasn’t able to respond in kind, hence Chicago’s breakout fifth inning.
Left fielder David Peralta loves Chicago’s pitching about as much as Rizzo loves Arizona’s pitching. Coming into the night, Peralta was 5-for-12 (.400) in three career games against the Cubs. He continued his hot hitting against the Cubs with a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Peralta says the team’s already picked up the pieces after this loss.
“It’s part of the game; we win, we lose. We came from a good series in Miami (sweep over Marlins). We had the first game here,” Peralta said. “We’re just going to keep the same energy, the same game plan. It’s baseball; it’s going to happen. It’s over. We’re going to come tomorrow to win the series.”