Maholm struggles as Diamondbacks outslug Cubs

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Maholm struggles as Diamondbacks outslug Cubs

By Jose M. Romero
CSNChicago.com Contributor

PHOENIX Paul Maholm had yet to pitch past seven innings this season, and had yet to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in five previous career starts against them.

He got help from his defense and even helped himself with a two-run home run, but was undone by a big inning as Maholm and the Cubs dropped the second game of their three-game set with the D-backs, 10-5 Saturday night at Chase Field.

It got away from Maholm quickly in the fourth as the Diamondbacks batted around. Arizona scored six runs on four singles, a triple and an error. Jason Kubel, one of the hottest hitters in the majors this month, raised his National League-best June RBI total to 22 with a two-run base hit.

Maholm (4-6) left after getting only one out in the inning. He came into the fourth with a 2-1 lead and left having allowed six earned runs (seven total) on nine hits in 3 13 innings.

Maholms home run, the first homer for a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano did it against the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 6 of last year, came in the fourth inning. Up until the bottom of the inning, the Cubs had shined in the field.

In the second inning, second baseman Adrian Cardenas hustled from his position and raced between two teammates to flag down a shallow popup near foul territory in right field. The play was important because the D-backs loaded the bases afterward, and Alfonso Soriano secured the third out by diving to catch a sinking line drive from Aaron Hill.

But an error by third baseman Luis Valbuena in the fourth helped open the floodgates for the Diamondbacks. And as it turned out, they needed a lot of those runs, because the Cubs battled back.

Steve Clevenger doubled into the gap in right-center field to drive in Soriano and Geovany Soto and cut the Arizona lead to 7-4. That was all for Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy, who equaled his shortest outing of the season, 4 13 innings, and was charged with five runs after pinch-hitter Jeff Baker singled in Clevenger with two out.

David DeJesus and Starlin Castro both went 4-for-5 to tie career highs in hits in a game for the 10th and eighth time, respectively, and Cardenas added two hits. But the Cubs (24-47) came up short for the third straight game despite collecting 14 hits as a team.

Justin Upton and Paul Goldschmidt hit solo home runs for the Diamondbacks, who climbed above .500 (36-35) for the first time since May 4, when they were 14-13 at the end of that day.

Preview: Arrieta, Cubs aim to stay hot vs. Pirates Wednesday on CSN

Preview: Arrieta, Cubs aim to stay hot vs. Pirates Wednesday on CSN

Jake Arrieta takes the hill as the Cubs continue their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN at 6 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Jake Arrieta (18-7, 2.85 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (4-4, 3.49 ERA)

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Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Preview: Blackhawks open preseason against Penguins Wednesday on CSN+

Scott Darling and the Blackhawks open up preseason play against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN+ at 7:30 p.m. 

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear here!]​

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