PHOENIX (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs have gone from blowout winners
to blown out losers in a hurry.
Chicago came to Phoenix on a six-game winning streak -- beating
opponents 39-5 in the process -- but has been outscored 19-1 by the
"Everything seems to be coming together," Webb said. "Our
pitching's hot, we're hitting the ball, scoring a lot of runs, and
our defense has been great."
"That's the way baseball is," Gonzalez said. "A couple of
weeks ago everybody wanted to trade guys, fire managers, and we're
playing good now. The key for this whole homestand is we're getting
big two-out hits, and the team's playing with a lot of
"He goes out and throws a shutout, and I want to try to follow
him, too," Webb said of Johnson's example. "That definitely
motivates me to do things like he does."
Tracy, in his sixth major league game, went 3-for-5 with three
RBI and made a diving stop at third base to rob Sammy Sosa in the
first inning. Tracy is 5-for-7 with three standout defensive plays
in his last two games.
Tracy was one of the best hitters in the Pacific Coast League
last season, but started this year back in Triple-A at Tucson. He's
made the most of his opportunity in the majors, though.
"It's surreal," Tracy said. "You never imagine putting
together a couple of knocks in every game. You've just got to keep
Danny Bautista was 2-for-4 with an RBI, extending his
career-best hitting streak to 19 games.
"We say all the time that hitting is contagious," Arizona
manager Bob Brenly said, "and I think that's what we're seeing
right now. We're putting together one good at-bat after another
Webb (2-1) used his trademark sinker to induce 14 groundouts. He
struck out five and walked three.
Chicago must win Wednesday to avoid being swept in three games,
something that didn't happen to the Cubs all last season.
"No use starting now," manager Dusty Baker said. "We ain't
swept yet. We've still got one game to go."
Tracy and Gonzalez homered in Arizona's five-run fourth inning.
Bautista led off the inning with a double to deep center, then
Tracy lofted starter Sergio Mitre's 1-0 pitch into the right-field
seats to put the Diamondbacks up 3-0.
After Robby Hammock doubled, Webb was hit by a pitch as he tried
to put down a sacrifice bunt. Webb walked to first, but returned to
the plate after the umpires ruled he had bunted at the ball for a
strike. Webb eventually struck out.
With two outs, Alex Cintron walked and Mitre's brief night was
over. Gonzalez, the first batter to face reliever Michael Wuertz,
hit a 426-foot homer to right-center, a three-run shot that made it
"It seems like everything they're swinging at, they're hitting
the balls hard," Mitre said, "and the mistakes they're hitting
Mitre (1-1) allowed five runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Arizona scored in the second when Finley walked and stole
second, the 300th stolen base of his career. He advanced to third
on a groundout and came home on Tracy's grounder to first, scored a
single because Mitre slipped off the mound and never made it over
to cover the base.
Cubs ace Mark Prior threw about 50 pitches in the bullpen
and came away encouraged about his progress as he recovers from an
inflamed Achilles' tendon and sore elbow. He will stay in Arizona
for more rehab work at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa.
... Cubs infielder Derrek Lee was out of the lineup after fouling a
ball of his foot Monday. ... Bautista's double was the 100th of his
career. ... Cubs relievers Wuertz and Todd Wellemeyer were called