Varsho brace scores 3 in 10th in Diamondbacks 7-6 win over Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — Daulton Varsho drilled a two-out, three-RBI brace in the 10th inning, then scored on an Andrelton Simmons pitching error to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 7-6 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

Arizona got just one hit against Cubs starter Justin Steele but came alive against the bullpen, going an eighth inning three-run extra. Rowan Wick (1-1) gave away Varsho’s brace.

Arizona has won three straight after ending a six-game losing streak in Game 1 of the series on Thursday. Varsho was 3 of 5 with three RBIs and is second on the Diamondbacks with eight doubles this season.

Diamondbacks relievers Joe Mantiply, JB Wendelken, Ian Kennedy (3-2) combined for a scoreless pair of innings before Mark Melancon entered the 10th for his ninth save of the season.

Against Melancon, Simmons picked shortstop to score Christopher Morel from second. Simmons moved into the scoring position by stealing second with Ian Happ representing the tying run at home plate. Melancon stoked Happ before Jonathan Villar hit his fifth brace of the year to score Simmons. But Seiya Suzuki struck.

Alek Thomas brought the Arizona bats to life in the seventh with a two-out single to center to score Jake McCarthy. Then Pavin Smith hit the first home run of his career at center to lead the eighth, cut the deficit to two runs and end Chicago reliever Scott Effross’ 14-appearance streak without an earned run.

McCarthy then doubled David Robertson with two outs, scoring Ketel Marte to further close the gap before Varsho’s single at center brought McCarthy home to tie it at four.

Ian Happ led the bottom of the eighth as he edged the Arizona infield for a single hit. Villar singled left to move Happ into the scoring position, but Arizona reliever JB Wendelken fanned Yan Gomes to escape the inning.

Robertson worked his way out of a goal-loaded, dead-end situation in the ninth.

Steele pitched five scoreless innings and stoked nine, missing one strikeout to tie his career high. He allowed one hit and walked two.

Willson Contreras scored a single, stole a base, then left the game in the third inning, appearing to catch his hamstrings after taking off towards the third as Seiya Suzuki belted a just-foul grounder.

Chicago has lost four straight after winning six of eight before Arizona came to town.


Diamondbacks: 3B Josh Rojas left the game with a bruised left hand he sustained on the first-inning hit, a day after a three-homer outing. … Varsho returned to designated hitter catcher as Arizona continues to rotate receivers with Carson Kelly (broken toe) and Jose Herrera (undisclosed) on 10-Day-IL. … Jordan Luplow moved to designated hitter and Ketel Marte started at second base after days off Friday.

Cubs: IF Nico Hoerner (ankle) appeared to be “about 80 percent, 85 percent” as he led the bases Saturday for the first time since his injury, manager David Ross said. … LHP Sean Newcomb (ankle) kicked off a bullpen session and is eligible to return from the 15-day IL on Monday. … SI David Bote (shoulder surgery) is 1 of 6 at the board two games into a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa. Bote and Clint Frazier (appendicitis) are “both working to get back,” Ross said, and he won’t rush either player.


Arizona RHP Merrill Kelly (3-2, 3.27 ERA) is set to face Chicago LHP Wade Miley (1-0, 2.70 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. Kelly will be looking to bounce back from a May 17 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in which he allowed eight earned runs on five hits in two innings. Miley allowed one hit and struck out six in seven scoreless innings in a May 16 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.


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