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Cubs Send Silva To Face Diamondbacks In Quest For Second Straight Win

(Sports Network) - The Cubs' offensive struggles have caught up to starter Carlos Silva, but the right-hander has reason to be encouraged given his team's performance on Monday.

Chicago will try to win back-to-back games and help its hurler halt a four- start winless stretch this evening in the second contest of a three-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Silva began the season by winning his first eight decisions, but has gone 0-2 over his last four starts despite a solid 3.04 earned run average. The Cubs have scored two runs or less in three of Silva's last four starts and have lost each outing.

The 31-year-old, who has a 2.96 ERA on the season, faced the Reds on Thursday and pitched a season-high 7 2/3 innings, yielding two runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts. However, despite his 12th quality start of the season, he got a no-decision.

"That wasn't easy," Silva told Chicago's website. "I had to work hard today, every inning. The good thing was I was able to get out of every inning. Unfortunately, we didn't win the game."

Silva is 4-0 with a 3.06 ERA in six road starts in 2010, but 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in seven games -- two starts -- lifetime versus Arizona. He faced them on May 1 at home and yielded three runs on eight hits, including a pair of homers by Mark Reynolds and one by Justin Upton, in a no-decision.

He'll hope his offense can back him today like they were able to do for Tom Gorzelanny on Monday, as Geovany Soto and Starlin Castro drove in two runs each in a 9-4 victory. It was the Cubs' fourth straight victory over the Diamondbacks and they have outscored Arizona 37-19 in that span.

Alfonso Soriano added a pinch-hit, two-run homer to surpass 800 career RBI, while Gorzelanny allowed three runs over five innings.

Soriano and Derrek Lee both did not start Monday's game to rest, while third baseman Aramis Ramirez returned after missing two consecutive games because of an aggravated left thumb injury.

Arizona's Ian Kennedy lost his fourth straight start after allowing seven runs in 5 2/3 innings, while Kelly Johnson drove in two runs in defeat. The club has now dropped three in a row after winning in Kirk Gibson's managerial debut last Friday.

"The most frustrating part is I want these guys to feel the success for the work they put in, but the game just doesn't do that sometimes," Gibson said. "The Cubs hit some balls hard and they hit some that found holes."

Rookie Barry Enright felt nothing but success in his major league debut last Wednesday and he looks to win his second game in as many starts tonight. The 24-year-old faced the Cardinals and held them to a run on four hits and four walks over five innings, fanning five in a 4-2 victory.

"It's a surreal feeling. It was a fun time," Enright said of his debut.

The right-handed 2007 second-round pick out of Pepperdine joined Arizona after going 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 14 starts this year with Double-A Mobile.