The Arizona Diamondbacks avoided getting swept by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field yesterday, beating the Valley's most popular team 6-4.
Manager Kirk Gibson threw out his fifth different lineup of the season, taking Chris Young out of the middle of the order for the first time this year and placing him in the two hole. Young responded with a great game at the plate, and a sketchier day in the field.
Young went 2-5 with a double and a triple, scored twice, and drove in two runs. In the bottom of the first, he made a fantastic diving catch on a Kosuke Fukudome line drive in right centerfield. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro came up next and hit a knuckling liner right at Young that he initially moved back on then dove forward to catch. In the fourth, he made a stab on a flyball in front of the ivy in the outfield.
It wasn't textbook, but it worked for him. Whether Young plays his next game in the power slots in the lineup or at the top of the order will be an important development in the Diamondbacks' season.
Armando Galarraga made his first start for the Diamondbacks, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits in 7 innings, with 5 Ks and 2 walks. Galarraga was burned by the longball, giving up a two-run jack to Aramis Ramirez in the second inning and another homer to Alfonso Soriano in the seventh.
JJ Putz got his second save of the season in the ninth. He has yet to allow a baserunner.
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Galarraga's battery mate, Miguel Montero, continued his hot hitting to start the season, homering in the eighth inning to give the Diamondbacks an insurance run they needed. Fukudome singled off Galarraga to start the eighth. Juan Gutierrez relieved him, and allowed a run to score, which was charged to Galarraga.
Shortstop Stephen Drew is still out with an abdominal injury, but Willie Bloomquist continued to fill in for him. Bloomquist stole his league-leading fifth base. His role with the team once Drew returns will be another key development for the team. Bloomquist has not been a good baseball player in, well, ever, but he's playing his heart out to start the year.
Justin Upton continued his slow start to the season, going hitless with a strikeout.
The Diamondbacks start their season at home Friday night, at 6:30, against the Cincinnati Reds, which you can watch on Fox Sports Arizona. Ian Kennedy takes on Travis Wood, followed by Daniel Hudson against Bronson Arroyo Saturday (5:10, FSA), and Joe Saunders pitches against Mike Leake Sunday (1:10, FSA). The latter two are the more exciting matchups for those who appreciate the art of pitching, as Hudson and Leake are among the best young starters in the game. And Leake, of course, is an ASU alum.