clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cubs Face League's Worst Pitching Staff In Diamondbacks Series

(Sports Network) - Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy said he didn't know what led to him walking a career-high nine batters, but he has had plenty of time to think about it.

Set to start for the first time in nine days, Kennedy will try to halt a three-start losing streak this afternoon when Arizona kicks off a three-game series versus the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field.

Kennedy hasn't picked up a victory since May 19, losing each of his last four decisions -- all on the road. His last outing on June 26 versus the Rays featured 115 pitches over 5 1/3 innings as he allowed two hits in addition to his nine free passes while also striking out seven.

"It's not acceptable and it's very, very frustrating," Kennedy told Arizona's website after falling to 3-6 on the season with a 3.77 earned run average. "I don't know what's wrong. I have to look at film and figure it out quick before my next outing."

Perhaps a return home will help the right-hander, who is 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA in six starts at Chase Field. The 25-year-old Kennedy also beat the Cubs in his lone career start against them despite allowing five runs -- four earned -- over eight innings of a 13-5 victory on April 29.

That was on the lone win for Arizona in that four-game set at Wrigley Field, as Chicago took the next three contests of that high-scoring affair by a 28-15 margin.

The Cubs counter today with Tom Gorzelanny, who bested the Diamondbacks on May 2 in the finale of that series with seven innings of two-run ball that also featured a season-high 10 strikeouts by the left-hander.

Gorzelanny made four more starts after that before being shifted to the bullpen, but he returned to the rotation on Wednesday to replace Carlos Zambrano. Gorzelanny pitched well versus his former Pirates club on that day, holding Pittsburgh to just four hits and three walks over five scoreless innings. The 27-year-old got a no-decision in his team's 2-0 loss, though, and is still searching for his first victory since May 26.

He is 2-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 10 starts this season and 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five career starts versus the Diamondbacks.

While Chicago was able to score at will versus Arizona earlier this year, it was outscored 30-8 in losing three of four over the weekend to Cincinnati, which recorded a 14-3 triumph in Sunday's finale behind seven homers, including four off Cubs starter Ted Lilly.

Chicago could only counter with a pair of homers from Tyler Colvin, who posted his first career multi-homer game.

"[The Reds] hit seven home runs," Cubs manager Lou Piniella told his team's website. "You would think we could get a few balls up in the air and let them ride out of here. The only guy who did was Colvin. He hit both of them well."

Chicago was without third baseman Aramis Ramirez for a second straight game because of a left thumb injury, an ailment that limited him to just 10 contests in June.

Arizona has lost four of its last six contests and is coming off Sunday's 3-1 setback to Los Angeles that dropped the club 17 games back of first place in the National League West.

Dan Haren allowed just a run over seven innings, but reliever Aaron Heilman served up a deciding two-run homer in the eighth inning. Adam LaRoche scored the Diamondbacks lone run after his double was followed up with a triple from Mark Reynolds.