Published April 03, 2010
PHOENIX (AP) — Rodrigo Lopez wrapped up his phenomenal spring with a gem against the Chicago Cubs.
The 34-year-old right-hander, a non-roster invitee who pitched his way onto the Arizona rotation, ran his string of scoreless innings to 19 with 6 2-3 in the Diamondbacks' 5-3 victory over the Cubs on Friday night.
Lopez pitched to just 21 batters, one more than the minimum possible, allowing two hits, striking out four and walking one.
Chicago's Ryan Dempster's streak of 10 straight scoreless innings ended when Mark Reynolds hit his second two-run home run in two days in the fourth inning. The Cubs' young Tyler Colvin tripled and doubled, boosting his spring average to .466 (36 for 77).
Ryan Roberts, in a fight for the final Arizona roster spot, hit the deciding two-run homer with two outs in the in the eighth off Mitch Atkins. Chad Qualls threw a perfect ninth for the save.
Chicago had rallied with three runs in the eighth to tie the game 3-3. Kosuke Fukudome led off with a homer off Leo Rosales, then Mike Fontenot doubled to deep center. With one out, Colvin had an RBI double down the left field line. Jeff Baker singled off Juan Gutierrez to bring home Colvin with the tying run.
Lopez, released by Philadelphia last September after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in 2007, did not give up a run after the first inning of his second outing. He is Arizona's No. 4 starter behind Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy. Lopez has a 68-66 record with San Diego, Baltimore, Colorado and Philadelphia, but missed virtually the entire 2008 season. He was 3-1 in five starts for the Phillies last year.
Dempster, scheduled to pitch Wednesday at Atlanta, allowed those two runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked one.
He had fanned five of the previous six batters when he walked Adam LaRoche with one out in the fourth. Reynolds, coming off a 44-home run season, followed and lined a 2-2 pitch into the seats in left field as Dempster slammed the rosin bag down in disgust.
NOTES: Justin Upton, who has a new $51.25 million, five-year contract, is hitting .382 this spring, Reynolds .364. ... The Diamondbacks announced their opener against San Diego on Monday is sold out, with a few standing room only tickets available. ... The Cubs averaged 10,892 fans at their ballpark in Mesa, tops in the majors. ... Arizona opens a four-game series against the Cubs in Chicago on April 29.
(This version CORRECTS Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 3. corrects score in graf 2.)