CHICAGO (AP) –Zac Gallen threw five efficient innings, Daulton Varsho homered and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday night, snapping a six-game slide.
Gallen (3-0) allowed one run and two hits, continuing his strong start to the season. The right-hander walked three and hit a batter, but got out of a jam on his final inning while earning his first victory in his fourth career start against Chicago.
After finishing 2021 with a career-high 4.30 ERA, Gallen has allowed two runs or less in each of his first seven starts this year.
The Cubs picked up Marcus Stroman from the COVID-19 injured list, but went 1 of 7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. Yan Gomes overtook Willson Contreras in fourth at home for the team’s only race.
Stroman (1-4) allowed three runs, two earned and five hits over five innings in his first start since May 1. The right-hander struck out six and didn’t walk one.
Stroman retired his first nine batters, but Varsho made his first pitch from fourth deep to center for his seventh homer. Josh Rojas and David Peralta nailed two RBI singles for a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs charged in the fifth on Christopher Morel’s 11-pitch walk in his third major league game, Andrelton Simmons’ eight-pitch walk after falling 0-2 and one hit per pitch for Counterras. But Gallen brought Ian Happ to a late-inning bouncer for the second.
Sean Poppen, Joe Mantiply, Ian Kennedy and Mark Melancon then combined for four innings of two-hitter relief. Kennedy knocked out Patrick Wisdom with runners at second and third of the eighth, and Melancon got his eighth save.
Diamondbacks: C Jose Herrera has been placed on the disabled list without designation, indicating a potential COVID-19 issue with the team. The move with Herrera comes a day after LHP Kyle Nelson and OF Cooper Hummel were placed on the IL without any injury designations. The team announced the same decision for INF Nick Ahmed on Monday. With Herrera out, C Grayson Greiner was promoted from Triple-A Reno. … 2B Ketel Marte returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left hand.
Cubs: RHP Michael Rucker was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left turf toe. To make room for Stroman on the 40-man roster, RHP Alec Mills was transferred to the 60-day IL. … INF David Bote (left shoulder) went 1 for 3 with a brace in his first rehab game with Triple-A Iowa. … INF Nico Hoerner (right ankle) builds his progress in the race. … SS Ed Howard, the No. 16 pick in the 2020 Entry Draft, will miss the rest of the season with a hip injury. Howard, 20, was with Class A South Bend when he was injured. “He’s going to have surgery,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “The first prognosis is really good as far as a comeback is concerned.”
Right-handers Humberto Castellanos and Kyle Hendricks will pitch Friday afternoon. Castellanos (2-1, 4.15 ERA) threw 5 1/3 two-run innings in a no-decision game against the Cubs at Chase Field on Sunday. Hendricks (2-3, 4.03 ERA) has allowed just one run in 14 1/3 innings in his last two starts for Chicago.