Subscribe for 33¢ / day

PHOENIX -- The Chicago Cubs couldn't come up with clutch hits and cost themselves with mistakes on the mound.

The Cubs missed a chance to take three of four from Arizona by getting one hit in 14 chances with runners in scoring position Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs hit into three double plays, including one for the final two outs of the game. Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker grounded into a game-ending DP with runners on first and third.

That came after Carlos Pena, mired in a 3-for-28 (.107) slump over the past 11 games, came just a few feet from giving the Cubs the lead in the ninth. His long fly ball to right field off Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz was caught in front of the fence.

"When it left the bat I thought it definitely had a chance," Pena said. "It wasn't my best ball but I thought I had enough of it to go over the fence, but unfortunately it just died."

So it went for the Cubs, whose bullpen allowed just one hit over the final three innings.

The Cubs also cost themselves in the field in the fourth inning when the Diamondbacks scored three runs with some aggressive baserunning and a balk and wild pitch from Cubs starter Casey Coleman.

"Casey was OK," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He wasn't lights out sharp."

Coleman (1-2) walked five.

"That has been my problem this year going back to last start," he said. "Trying to make that pitch and get out of that inning. I keep trying to be too perfect."

Daniel Hudson (2-4) pitched seven solid innings for Arizona and won his second straight start after allowing three runs against Philadelphia April 26. He gave up three runs and eight hits.

The Diamondbacks fourth included a balk, sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. Coleman balked home the first run with Miguel Montero on third. Then, with runners at first and third and one out, Hudson laid down a bunt and Ryan Roberts beat the throw home.

"If you research that play around the game, you'll find a lot of times that that play, it forces other mistakes," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.

The third run scored when the bases were loaded and Coleman (1-2) uncorked a wild pitch allowing Gerardo Parra to score. He had been intentionally walked.

Coleman (1-2) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings.

Trailing 4-1, the Cubs rallied in the seventh as Geovany Soto had a two-run double after Marlon Byrd singled and Pena walked.

Soto was left stranded at third, as Hudson retired pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin on a comebacker to the mound.

"The little things along the way when you are in a 4-3 contest, they add up," Quade said.

Soriano led off the second inning with a double, then eventually scored on a groundout by Pena. The Diamondbacks tied it at 1 with Roberts' sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the second.

David Hernandez and Putz each threw a scoreless inning for Arizona, Putz earning his sixth save.

Notes: Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said RHP Aaron Heilman's simulated game Sunday was "free and easy." Heilman, on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness since April 14, might pitch another, or an extended spring training game before he's ready to return. ... Asked about the Diamondbacks' play over the first month of the season, Gibson said he didn't like the team's record (11-15 in April) but "I think we've played the game and kind of adapted to the situation in the game. We've come from behind, we've tied games up our demeanor and our preparation has remained solid." ... Soriano hit a home run Saturday night at Chase Field that was estimated to have traveled 461 feet. It hit the facade of the scoreboard/video board in straightaway center field.


Load comments