PHOENIX (AP) -- Randall Simon likes his new team.
The first baseman, acquired Aug. 16 from the Pittsburgh Pirates
for a minor league outfielder, drove in Chicago's first two runs as
the Cubs kept pace in the NL Central with a 5-3 win
over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
"It gives you the confidence that when you go out there, you
want to contribute. You want to help your team to win," Simon said
about starting five of his six games with the Cubs. "That's the
thing that's making me so comfortable. You see that I'm enjoying
Damian Miller added a run-scoring groundout for the Cubs, who
stayed a half-game behind Houston and St. Louis.
Clement (11-11), who went eight innings in a 2-1 win over the
Diamondbacks on Aug. 3, proved too much for them again. He allowed
two runs on five hits and three walks, striking out nine, before
coming out after giving up a leadoff single to Danny Bautista in
Brandon Webb was struck near the elbow of his pitching arm by a batted
ball in the second inning and lasted just three innings. He'll be evaluated
"He said he felt OK to continue, but we noticed his velocity
dropping down in the inning after that and we just didn't want to
risk it," Brenly said.
"The game didn't have a real good rhythm," Clement said. "You
know, Webb getting hit by that ball. It was
kind of a strange start to the game, I guess, kind of choppy. Then
at the end, Joe did a good job keeping us cool."
Mondesi also drove in Arizona's first run with a first-inning
double, his 1,500th hit.
But that was all the Diamondbacks' streaky offense managed.
Arizona, which has alternated wins and losses for eight
consecutive games, went into the eighth inning before getting its
first hit against Chicago's Carlos Zambrano in a 4-1 loss Friday
night, then piled up 13 runs in a win Saturday.
After Mondesi's hit, Clement retired 15 of the next 17 batters.
He ran into a rough spot in the sixth, perhaps distracted by
Luis Gonzalez, who objected vehemently to third-base umpire Bill
Miller's ruling that Gonzalez went around on a third strike.
The Diamondbacks slugger gestured and shouted at Miller before
home plate umpire Kevin Kelley tossed him. After the ejection,
Gonzalez started up the third-base line before coaches and Kelley
Clement then gave up back-to-back singles to Mondesi and Spivey
before settling down to retire Finley on a grounder and Hillenbrand
on a strikeout.
"He had a lot of good pitches," Mondesi said. "A lot of
sinkers, sliders in and away. Tough. We do the best we can."
Arizona manager Bob Brenly also was ejected after the eighth for
protesting after Robby Hammock made the third out on another
checked-swing call, this one by first-base umpire Jeff Kellogg.
Simon, who was 3-for-5, broke a 1-all tie with a single in the
fifth inning off Stephen Randolph (7-1), and Lofton made it 3-1
with an RBI single in the sixth.
The Cubs added two more runs in the seventh on Miller's
fielder's-choice grounder and Lofton's single.
Just before the bunt, Ramirez lined a pitch off Webb's right arm
near the elbow. After an on-field checkup, Webb got out of the jam
by striking out Miller and Clement -- both on 3-2 counts -- and
getting Lofton to pop up.
Chicago tied it in the third, but should have had more on
Simon's one-bounce drive off the right-field fence. Tony Womack
finally scored from second after being held up by third-base coach
Wendell Kim, who thought Mondesi made the catch, and Simon was held
to a single.
"I don't think he could see," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
"(Mondesi) just missed that ball by about six inches from where we
were. You couldn't tell, really, if he caught the ball or not."
Webb, who gave up three hits, then issued his third walk of the
inning -- fourth of the game -- to Ramirez, loading the bases, before
retiring Martinez on a popup and Miller on a groundout.
Mondesi went 2-for-2, finishing with 1,501 hits, 1,046 in
the NL. ... Lofton stole his 27th base after a first-inning walk.
It was his 535th career. ... The Cubs (67-62) equaled last year's
win total with 33 games to go. ... Clement is 5-2 in 11 games
against the Diamondbacks.