How it happened: After a rain delay of almost 2½ hours, Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija took the mound for the first time since throwing a two-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Leadoff man Geraldo Parra hit Samardzija's second pitch of the game into the right-field bleachers. In the bottom of the first, the Cubs loaded the bases on Arizona starter Ian Kennedy with nobody out and scored all three runners. Manager Dale Sveum was ejected in the second inning by plate umpire Joe West. Sveum had come out to argue separate close plays with first base umpire Toby Basner in the first and second innings. Kennedy retired 17 straight Cubs hitters after his first-inning problems. Samardzija was replaced by James Russell with two men on and one out in the seventh and Russell surrendered a three-run double to Jason Kubel. Samardzija threw a season-high 115 pitches and got a no-decision. Nate Schierholtz tied the score in the seventh inning with his seventh home run of the season, but Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol gave up a crowd-numbing grand slam to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth inning as the D-backs took control.
What it means: The Cubs' season-high win streak ended at five. Samardzija now leads the National League in strikeouts with 91. He struck out six consecutive Arizona batters in the second through fourth innings and finished with 11. The Cubs have hit 12 home runs in their last six games. Chicago had hit only one home run in the previous five games before the streak. The Cubs had outscored the opposition 31-8 in their previous four games.
Outside the box: Friday's attendance of 24,645 was the smallest at Wrigley field in almost 11 years. The Cubs last drew a smaller audience (20,032) on Sept. 26, 2002.
Chicago has changed its rotation for the next week of games. Left-hander Travis Wood will be skipped because of innings concerns. The rotation lines up with Edwin Jackson on Sunday, Scott Feldman on Tuesday in Anaheim, Matt Garza on Wednesday, Wood on Friday and Samardzija next Saturday. ... The Cubs have a bizarre two-game California trip with off days on Monday and Thursday sandwiched around the interleague matchup.
Up next: The finale of this three game set pits Jackson (1-7 6.11) against Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (8-0, 1.71).