PHOENIX (AP) — Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto drove in two runs each, Tom Gorzelanny worked around six walks in five innings and the Chicago Cubs struck out 12 in a 9-4 win over the still-struggling Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
Chicago roughed up Ian Kennedy (3-7) for four runs the first two innings and answered every Arizona rally to win for just the sixth time in 17 games. Kosuke Fukudome led off the game with a homer, Alfonzo Soriano notched his 800th career RBI with a solo shot in the eighth and Gorzelanny (3-5) repeatedly finagled his way out of his own jams for his first win since May 19.
The Diamondbacks had been swinging and missing a lot this season, with 100 more strikeouts than the next closest team in the majors, including 28 combined in a pair of losses to the Dodgers over the weekend.
Chicago was fourth in the majors with 634 strikeouts, so there figured to be a lot of flailing.
There was. Arizona whiffed at least a dozen times for the third straight game, including eight of the last nine outs to push its season total to 773.
What hurt the Diamondbacks more was the inability to capitalize on the nine walks issued by Chicago's pitchers.
Gorzelanny did the best escape work, pitching out of walk-induced jams in the first and third innings.
The left-hander got out of a bases-loaded spot in the first by striking out LaRoche after a pair of two-out walks. In the third, Gorzelanny walked the bases loaded with no outs, but allowed just one run on Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly.
Gorzelanny gave up a leadoff homer to LaRoche in the fourth inning and Johnson made it 5-3 with an RBI triple in the fifth. That was it, though. Gorzelanny was done the next inning, lifted for a pinch hitter after allowing three runs on five hits.
Kennedy knows how hard it can be to work around walks. He set a team record with nine in his last outing, a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay on June 26.
The right-hander rediscovered the strike zone against the Cubs, walking none in 5 2-3 innings. He just couldn't miss their bats.
Fukudome started it off, breaking a 1 for 10 slump on Kennedy's fourth pitch, launching it into the balcony in center for his seventh homer of the season.
Castro followed two leadoff singles in the second inning with a two-run triple off the wall in center, and Soto made it 4-0 with a run-scoring double hit even harder to nearly the same spot.
First-time All Star Marlon Byrd knocked in a run on a groundout in the fifth, then two more came across in the sixth on Soto's RBI double and a run-scoring single by pinch hitter Mike Fontenot. That put the Cubs up 7-4 and chased Kennedy, who allowed seven runs on nine hits to push his winless streak to eight starts.
NOTES: Fukudome's homer was Chicago's first to lead off a game this season. ... Arizona LF Cole Gillespie made a spectacular catch in the fourth inning, diving toward the wall on a ball hit by Aramis Ramirez that went over his head.