Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 4

By Chris Rewers on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hero: Marcos Mateo, rebounding from a rough outing on Tuesday, retired all three batters he faced after entering in the top of the ninth with Arizona runners on the corners and no outs. Mateo's effort kept the Cubs within striking distance.

Goat: Ryan Dempster (0-2) endured his second rough outing in as many starts, but he did apparently become the first Cubs starting pitcher in three days to make it through a game without an injury. Dempster, who was not helped by the defense behind him, allowed five runs - four earned - on 10 hits in seven innings. Dempster, who now has a 6.59 ERA, struck out six and walked none.

Key Play: Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd took a huge gamble and lost when he failed to make a diving catch on a Chris Young line drive with two outs in the top of the third. As the ball skipped all the way to the warning track, Willie Bloomquist scored the game's first run. As Young was pulling into third with a triple, left fielder Alfonso Soriano bobbled and dropped the ball after picking it up with his bare hand. Young crossed the plate standing up and Soriano was charged with a one-base error.

Comments: Soriano hit his third home run of the season with nobody on in the seventh inning, but the rest of the afternoon did not go well for the Cubs left fielder. In addition to his error in the third inning, Soriano failed to put the squeeze on what would have been a nice running catch on a Young fly ball that was scored as an RBI double during Arizona's three-run fifth. With the Cubs trailing 6-4.he struck out to end the eighth with runners at second and third. ... Catcher Geovany Soto and second baseman Blake DeWitt also committed errors for the North Siders in a defensive performance that was reminiscent of the early portion of the spring training schedule. ... Aramis Ramirez, who is hitting .333, hit his first home run of the season with a man on in the fourth to tie the game at 2. ... Starlin Castro went hitless for the second straight game but is still hitting .400.

Next: After an off day Thursday, the Cubs (3-3) open a three-game series and nine-game road trip, at Milwaukee, on Friday (CSN-Plus, 7:10) with Carlos Zambrano (0-0, 4.50 ERA) opposing veteran Brewers lefty Randy Wolf (0-1, 13.50). First baseman Carlos Pena, who missed the last two games with a sprained right thumb, is expected to return to the Cubs lineup.

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