Rapid Reaction: Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 2


CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs lost 5-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, ending up with a split of the four-game series.

How it happened: Edwin Jackson looked shaky before settling down. Miguel Montero's first -nning double brought home Gerardo Parra, who singled to lead off the game. The Diamondbacks scored two more in the second on a walk, double and single, but Jackson retired 17 of the next 18 hitters to keep the Cubs in the game. The Cubs had tied it briefly in the first when Emilio Bonifacio came around on an error by left fielder Roger Kieschnick, but that’s all the offense they would get off starter Mike Bolsinger, who had a 10.29 ERA coming into the game. Arizona added to its lead in the eighth, scoring two more off of reliever Jose Veras on a walk and two hits. Anthony Rizzo closed out the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, his third of the season.

What it means: On Wednesday the Cubs were one out away from getting the chance to go for a series sweep Thursday, but instead they have to settle for a split of the four games against the Diamondbacks. Starting pitching wasn’t an issue -- let’s face it, a three-run performance by Jackson is a success these days -- but the bullpen is still struggling. Trailing just 3-1 on Thursday, Veras helped the Diamondbacks extend their lead just before Rizzo homered in the bottom of the inning. It became a meaningless home run. The Cubs' front office claimed it put a lot of work into fixing the Chicago bullpen, but so far it hasn’t paid off.

Veras scuffling: The struggles continue. Handed the ball just to maintain a two-run deficit, the right-hander couldn’t get the job done, walking the leadoff man before giving up two hits. His stuff simply isn’t fooling anyone, and the Cubs will need to face that sooner or later. His ERA climbed to 15.88.

What’s next: The Cubs take on the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Milwaukee starting Frida,y when Carlos Villanueva (1-4, 10.93) takes on Matt Garza (0-2, 4.50).