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The Arizona Diamondbacks need one more win to clinch at least a .500 season. The Chicago Cubs do not appear to be offering much resistance. The Diamondbacks have taken the first two contests of the series by a combined score of 16-5, extending Chicago’s latest losing streak to seven games. Arizona slugger Justin Upton is ending the season on a hot streak with homers in the last two games while Chicago’s pitching falters.
The Cubs have allowed at least five runs in each of the last seven games and will be playing their final road contest of the season on Sunday. While the pitching has not been pulling its weight, Alfonso Soriano is at least performing at the plate. The veteran slugger drove his 32nd homer out on Saturday to snap Trevor Cahill’s shutout bid in the ninth. The Diamondbacks are trying to post back-to-back winning seasons and will finish up at home against the Colorado Rockies this week. Upton has five RBIs in the first two games of the series and has hit six of his 17 home runs this month.
Cubs Diamondbacks Betting
When: 4:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSAZ (Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Chris Rusin (1-3, 7.30 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Josh Collmenter (5-3, 3.80)
Rusin has had three strong starts and three terrible outings since being recalled on Aug. 21. The 25-year-old has been knocked around for 11 runs and 17 hits over 8 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Rusin has yet to win on the road, going 0-3 with a 7.98 ERA in four starts. He has allowed 35 hits and walked nine in 24 2/3 total innings.
Collmenter returned to the rotation at San Francisco on Tuesday and dominated, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four in five innings. The right-hander had been banished to the bullpen after struggling as a starter earlier in the year and is 4-2 with a 5.44 ERA in 10 total starts in 2012. Collmenter started against Chicago on June 22 and went four innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out six. He has nine punchouts in 6 1/3 career innings against the Cubs.
1. Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt (back) has missed the last two games. The injury is not thought to be serious.
2. Cubs 2B Darwin Barney sat out Saturday’s game after having his streak of errorless games end at 141 the previous night.
3. Diamondbacks rookie OF Adam Eaton suffered a broken right wrist when he was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning Saturday.