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: Cubs-Dodgers Sunday on CSN

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Preview: Cubs-Dodgers Sunday on CSN

The Cubs take on the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 2:30 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.

CSN will also carry the live audio call of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully during Sunday's game as the SportsNet LA audio feed will be featured during the third inning.

Sunday’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester vs. Kenta Maeda

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

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— Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.

Defensive mistakes, red card cost Fire in ugly loss at D.C.

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Defensive mistakes, red card cost Fire in ugly loss at D.C.

RFK Stadium hosted one of the stranger games of the Chicago Fire’s season on Saturday.

It also may end up being a killer blow to the Fire’s playoff hopes.

The Fire lost 6-2 to the host D.C. United, falling nine points out of the playoffs with nine matches remaining.

Patrick Mullins had a hat trick and former Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko played a role in three of D.C.’s goals. The six goals were the most the Fire have allowed this season.

Fire midfielder Khaly Thiam received a red card in the 34th minute in a match-changing moment. Thiam fouled Nyarko then argued with the ref and dropped the ball on Nyarko’s face while Nyarko was still on the ground.

Nyarko keyed the opening goal in the 25th minute with a backheel in the box to Marcelo, whose low cross was finished off by Mullins.

Michael de Leeuw answered for the Fire (5-12-8, 23 points) by tucking away a big rebound from goalkeeper Bill Hamid after Matt Polster hit a half-volley at Hamid. The relief was short-lived for the Fire because Thiam was sent off a few minutes later.

Nyarko set up Mullins for a goal in the 40th minute and then Luciano Acosta did the same for Mullins in first half added time to make it 3-1 D.C. (7-8-11, 32 points). Razvan Cocis got the Fire back within one on the final kick of the half with a long shot that took a big deflection, lofting the ball perfectly over Hamid and into the net.

However, Nyarko quickly restored D.C.’s two-goal lead out of halftime with a goal in the 51st minute. Mullins finished off his hat trick in the 76th minute and Nick DeLeon finished the scoring in the 89th.

David Accam, who was favoring and icing his left leg after Wednesday’s draw with LA, did not start the match. He subbed on at halftime. He and David Arshakyan, who made his Fire debut off the bench, will both leave for international duty and miss next weekend’s match against Philadelphia.

PHOTO: Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose reunite at Cubs-Dodgers game

PHOTO: Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose reunite at Cubs-Dodgers game

Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose may not be teammates anymore, but that didn't stop them from catching up on the west coast while watching a familiar Chicago team.

The former set of Bulls teammates happened to bump into each other at the Cubs-Dodgers game on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, where they both work out in the offseason.

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016-17 season, Bulls fans!]

Rose and Butler likely haven't seen each other since the trade that sent Rose to the New York Knicks over the summer.

Butler shared the picture on his Instagram with Rose and his son P.J., capturing a cool moment after speculation of a reported rift during their time together in Chicago never seemed to go away:

three cats at a cubs and dodgers game.

A photo posted by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on