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Tommy Pham hits 10th-inning RBI single as streaking Diamondbacks beat Cubs 3-2

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty

Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting pitcher Merrill Kelly reacts after being pulled from the game during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

BY JAY COHEN contributing

CHICAGO (AP) — It was Merrill Kelly on the mound, Tommy Pham at the plate and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the field.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are having a great time in Chicago.

Pham hit an RBI single in the 10th inning, and the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday for their fourth consecutive victory.

“I can give you 15 things that took place today where if it doesn’t go that way we might have a totally different outcome,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “But I’m really proud of the way we came out and responded and did our job.”

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Gabriel Moreno scored on a wild pitch before Pham drove in Jordan Lawlar with a liner to left against rookie Daniel Palencia (5-1). Lawlar was hit by a pitch and advanced on Yan Gomes’ passed ball before taking third on the wild pitch.

Kevin Ginkel (8-0) got three outs for the win and Paul Sewald worked the 10th for his 32nd save. Cody Bellinger hit an RBI single, but Dansby Swanson fouled out to the catcher for the final out.

“Just couldn’t get that thing going our way at all today offensively,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

The Diamondbacks (75-68) moved within one game of the Cubs (76-67) for the No. 2 slot in the NL wild-card standings.

Arizona also got a pair of big defensive plays from Gurriel in left. He threw out Gomes when he tried for second on a drive off the wall in the ninth. He also made a solid running catch for the second out in the 10th.

Gurriel said he was worried Gomes’ drive was going to be a home run.

“Once it bounced off the wall, I knew I had a chance at second,” he said through a translator.

Chicago has just four runs and 16 hits through the first three games of the four-game series at Wrigley Field.

“Our pitchers have been getting after it,” Lovullo said, “and they deserve a lot of credit.”

The Cubs wasted another stellar performance by Justin Steele, who pitched seven innings of six-hit ball to lower his ERA to a major league-best 2.49. The All-Star left-hander, one of the front-runners for the NL Cy Young Award, is 7-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Kelly tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball for Arizona. The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out six and walked five — matching his season high.

Kelly departed with the bases loaded, and Ryan Thompson escaped the jam by retiring Gomes on a fly ball to center.

“Just felt not great,” Kelly said. “I think the walks kind of display that. But obviously I was happy to be able to keep us in it.”

Chicago jumped in front in the third, taking advantage of an embarrassing misplay by Arizona. With two out and Nico Hoerner aboard after a bunt single, Bellinger hit a high popup that landed in the infield near second — between rookie shortstop Lawlar and second baseman Ketel Marte.

A hustling Hoerner scored all the way from first, and then yelled in celebration as he made his way back to the dugout.

“Really nice hustle play there,” Ross said.

Arizona responded in the fifth when Corbin Carroll hit a leadoff single, stole second and advanced to third on Emmanuel Rivera’s single. Carroll came home on Moreno’s grounder to third.

It was the first run allowed by Steele since Aug. 24, stopping a string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: Marte (right knee contusion) departed in the seventh after he fouled the first pitch of the game off his leg. Lovullo said he had some imaging that was negative. “He’s doing OK. The knee stiffened up a little bit,” Lovullo said. Marte is day to day. … Lawlar was hit on the knuckle of the middle finger of his right hand in the 10th. “He was starting to feel a little bit of soreness at the end of the game,” Lovullo said, “so he is being evaluated right now.”

Cubs: RHP Marcus Stroman (rib cartilage fracture) is expected to throw live BP on Monday. … RHP Michael Fulmer (forearm strain) had a bullpen session on Friday that went well, according to the team.

UP NEXT

Right-handers Brandon Pfaadt (1-8, 6.27 ERA) and Kyle Hendricks (5-7, 3.73 ERA) take the mound on Sunday for the series finale. Pfaadt was charged with three runs in 3 2/3 innings in Arizona’s 3-2 loss to Colorado on Tuesday night. Hendricks is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in his last six starts for Chicago.

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