Ian Kennedy was finally rewarded for a strong start Thursday.
Kennedy gave up only five hits, one a grand slam in the eighth inning, and threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of the 32 batters he faced while using 110 pitches. He went eight innings, tying the career high he set while giving up two runs in his previous start against Philadelphia on April 24. The D-backs lost that game in the ninth, 3-2.
"I really tried to focus on" first-pitch strikes, Kennedy said. "It's knowing who's going to swing. If a guy's going to swing first pitch, then you can throw that breaking ball. It's nice to get a win. Our offense was great. It gave me a big cushion. Snydes (catcher Chris Snyder) had a great game plan."
Snyder said, "Location was what mattered. He kept the ball down and he kept them off balance."
"That's making the most of your pitches," said Adam LaRoche, who had two home runs and tied a career high with five RBI.
Since his only bad outing against the Dodgers on April 13, Kennedy has given up six earned runs and 12 hits in 21 innings for a 2.57 ERA. His season ERA is 4.45 in five starts.
Kennedy beat Tampa Bay and new teammate Edwin Jackson 9-6 in his first career start with Yankees, giving up only one earned run in seven innings while striking out six. He had made four career quality starts without getting a victory before stopping the Cubs in his first appearance in Wrigley Field.
DIAMONDBACKS 13, CUBS 5: 1B Adam LaRoche had two home runs and C Chris Snyder and 2B Kelly Johnson had one apiece as the D-backs scored double-digit runs for the second consecutive game. On Wednesday, they recovered from an 11-6 deficit to win in Colorado 12-11, and they have won four of their last five.
Johnson has nine homers this season after hitting eight with Atlanta in 2009. RHP Ian Kennedy recorded his first victory for the D-backs and also had his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly in a seven-run seventh inning.
--RHP Ian Kennedy's first victory with the D-backs was also his first since he beat Tampa Bay (and new teammate RHP Edwin Jackson) in his major league debut with the Yankees, 9-6, on Sept. 2, 2007. Kennedy had gone 17 appearances without a victory despite making four quality starts in that span. "I really tried to focus" on throwing first-pitch strikes, said Kennedy, who had 22. He has given up six earned runs and 12 hits in his last 21 innings, a 2.57 ERA.
--1B Adam LaRoche tied a career high with five RBI, and he was about six feet short of his first career three-homer game. LaRoche hit a three-run homer to left-center in the fourth inning, a bases-empty home run onto Sheffield Avenue beyond the right field fence at Wrigley Field in the fifth and a double off the ivied wall in left-center to drive in a run in the seventh. "When the wind is blowing out, you are a little more confident," LaRoche said. "It seldom blows out. We caught it on a good day."
--RHP Kris Benson (right shoulder strain) was placed on the disabled list Thursday after feeling soreness in the third inning of a 12-11 victory at Colorado on Wednesday. Benson was re-evaluated in Phoenix on Thursday, but it was too early to say how long he would be out. The D-backs recalled RHP Kevin Mulvey from Class AAA Reno to fill the roster spot, although they did not identify a starter for Benson's next turn through the rotation Monday. Mulvey, RHP Cesar Valdez and RHP Billy Buckner are the candidates, and Valdez has had the most success at Reno this season, where he was 1-1 with a 3.80 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings.
--RHP Leo Rosales (right foot sprain) was placed on the disabled list Thursday, a day after he gave up six hits and two walks while facing 12 batters in an emergency relief appearance in Colorado.
--RHP Daniel Stange was promoted from Class AAA Reno and pitched a 1-2-3 n ninth inning in his first major league appearance Thursday. "I'm still shaking, really," Stange said after throwing nine pitches - six for strikes - in his debut.
--3B Mark Reynolds struck out twice Thursday, breaking a tie with Luis Gonzalez for the franchise lead with 582 strikeouts. It took Reynolds 1,781 plate appearances to set the record. Gonzalez, now in the D-backs' front office, struck out 580 times in 5,246 plate appearances in his eight seasons with the D-backs. Gonzalez also had 650 walks. Reynolds is 3-for-37 with 22 strikeouts in his career at Wrigley Field.
--RHP Ian Kennedy and OF Cole Gillespie each collected their first major league RBI in the D-backs' seven-run seventh inning Thursday. Gillespie singled to left field with one out and the bases loaded, and Kennedy hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded two batters later.
--RHP Dan Haren became the second pitcher in franchise history to collect a hit as a pinch hitter with his single in the 10th inning Wednesday. RHP Micah Owings had a pinch homer for the D-backs in 2007.