Tommy Pham hit what proved to be the game-winning, run-scoring single in the 10th inning, and the Arizona Diamondbacks took their second one-run road decision from the Chicago Cubs in as many days, 3-2 on Saturday.
Arizona (75-68) managed just one run in seven innings against Chicago starter Justin Steele, a Cy Young contender. Steele struck out six and walked none.
But Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly limited Chicago to one run over 5 2/3 innings, and relievers Ryan Thompson, Andrew Saalfrank and Kevin Ginkel combined to hold the Cubs scoreless over 3 1/3 innings and force extra innings. Ginkel (8-0) picked up the win.
After scoring just two runs through the series’ previous 18 innings, including the one run that made the difference in Arizona’s 1-0 win on Friday, the Diamondbacks struck for two in the 10th.
Gabriel Moreno scored on Daniel Palencia’s wild pitch, giving Arizona a 2-1 lead. Pham then singled to left, scoring Jordan Lawlar for a 3-1 lead.
The two-run cushion proved necessary, as Chicago (76-67) halved the deficit on Cody Bellinger’s two-out RBI single to score Mike Tauchman. But D-backs closer Paul Sewald got Dansby Swanson to pop out on the ensuing at-bat to end the rally and pick up his 32nd save.
Palencia (5-1) took the loss.
Bellinger went 2-for-5 in the loss and drove in both Cubs runs, also driving in Nico Hoerner on an infield single in the third inning. Swanson finished 2-for-5.
Corbin Carroll went 2-for-4 for the Diamondbacks and scored on a Moreno RBI groundout in the fifth. Moreno went 1-for-4.
Arizona heads into Sunday’s finale looking for the sweep in the four-game set. The three-game losing skid has sliced the Cubs’ lead over the Diamondbacks in the wild-card race to one game.
Arizona occupies the last wild card spot in the National League.
–Field Level Media