Kennedy takes ball for Arizona versus Cubs

It has been over a month since Ian Kennedy last lost a game, but his streak could be in danger given his struggles this season against the Chicago Cubs.

Kennedy takes the hill on Friday evening for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first of three straight games versus the Cubs.

The right-handed Kennedy, a 21-game winner last year, has not lost since Aug. 25, going 3-0 in five starts since with a 2.70 earned run average. He has yielded one run or fewer in three of those outings, but did not factor into a 10-7 win at the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. Kennedy yielded four runs on nine hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six.

Kennedy, 27, is 14-11 with a 4.14 ERA and has struggled in two starts versus the Cubs in 2012. He has been roughed up for a 10.61 ERA, yielding 11 runs over 9 1/3 innings. He is 1-2 with a 7.34 ERA in five career meetings against Chicago.

Travis Wood takes the hill for the Cubs and has lost nine of his past 11 decisions. He is coming off a no-decision against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, charged with three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over five innings.

The 25-year-old lefty is 6-12 with a 4.23 ERA in 24 games this season and holds a career mark of 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in three meetings with the Diamondbacks. He has not faced them yet this year.

Wood will try to help the Cubs avoid setting a franchise record tonight with their 57th road loss of the season. They matched their previous mark set in 1956 with Thursday's 7-5 defeat against the hosting Colorado Rockies.

Chris Volstad worked his shortest outing since May 17. Lasting just three innings, Volstad was shelled for seven runs on 10 hits for the Cubs, who have lost five straight and nine of 10.

Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano each drove in a run in the ninth to cut the Chicago deficit to two, but Rafael Betancourt retired the next three batters to earn his 31st save of the season.

"We were one hit away from tying the game," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Chicago did see a more positive milestone in the loss after Darwin Barney logged his 141st straight game at second base without an error. That matches the previous single-season record set in 2007 by Placido Polanco when he was with the Detroit Tigers.

The Diamondbacks open their final homestand of the season off a series loss versus the San Francisco Giants. Arizona was handed a 7-3 loss in Thursday's rubber match of a three-game set as starter Patrick Corbin yielded six runs on seven hits over just three innings.

"He gave up six runs on 19 pitches, with two home runs," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson of Corbin's night on the mound. "You could see him trying to come in on guys and leave it out over the plate, and (the Giants) came out swinging the bats."

Chris Young had two RBI for the D'backs, who have lost three of their last four and sit six games out of the NL's second wild card spot with only six games to play.

The Diamondbacks and Cubs have traded three-game sweeps as the host in the previous two sets against each other this season.