Wells Leads Cubs To Series Opening Win
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Randy Wells gave up a home run to the first batter of the Chicago Cubs-Arizona Diamondbacks series that opened from Wrigley Field on Monday.
That would be the only mistake he made as he went six innings allowing just that one run, off six hits and four walks.
Wells (1-0), hoping to regain the form of his 2009 rookie season, outpitched Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders (0-1) on an overcast afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Willie Bloomquist hit his first career leadoff homer to give Arizona a quick lead against Wells, who won the fourth spot in the Cubs’ rotation with a strong spring. The right-hander struggled through an 8-14 season with a 4.26 ERA a year ago after going 12-10 with a 3.05 ERA in 2009.
Kelly Johnson followed Bloomquist’s homer with a single and stole second with two outs before Wells struck out Chris Young. Wells allowed six hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
Carlos Marmol, who blew a save in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates, pitched the ninth for his second of the season.
Saunders, who was supposed to pitch Sunday in Colorado before the game was postponed by a mix of rain and snow, also made it through six innings. He allowed five hits and two runs, including Soriano’s second homer of the season that tied it in the third.
Saunders’ inability to make a fielding play in the fourth helped the Cubs score the go-ahead run on Carlos Pena’s sacrifice fly.
Justin Upton caught Pena’s liner to right and made a strong throw to the plate that wasn’t in time to get Marlon Byrd as the Cubs went up 2-1.
Byrd had reached on an infield single up the first base line when Saunders picked up the ball and flipped it awkwardly away from the bag. Aramis Ramirez singled and Geovany Soto worked a walk to load the bases.
Arizona threatened in the eighth against Wood when Upton reached on shortstop Starlin Castro’s error, Russell Branyan singled and both runners advanced on Young’s slow roller to the right of the mound. Wood then intentionally walked Miguel Montero to load the bases before getting a third strike past Ryan Roberts and retiring Gerardo Parra on a fly to left.
Chicago then tacked on two in the bottom half when Ramirez and Soto hit back-to-back doubles off Kam Mickolio, and Soriano greeted David Hernandez with an RBI single.
Arizona has faced some wild weather the last three days. After playing in summer-like conditions on Saturday at Coors Field and then having Sunday’s game postponed, the Diamondbacks arrived in Chicago where at game time it was a cool 47 degrees with a northwesterly wind at 15 mph.
NOTES: Diamondbacks bench coach Alan Trammell held the same job the previous four years with the Cubs. Trammell, once a star shortstop for the Tigers, worked with Castro last season. And before Monday’s game, Castro thanked Trammell for all his help. “That means a lot,” Trammell said. “It’s something that even though I’m not there anymore, he’ll be somebody I’ll be following for the rest of his career. That’s how much he means to me.” … Barry Enright will start for Arizona on Tuesday but manager Kirk Gibson still hadn’t settled on his pitcher for Wednesday’s series finale. … Attendance was 26,292. … Byrd caught a fly ball for the final out but it wasn’t routine because there were about 50 gulls flocking in the outfield.
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