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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs Pick & Prediction JUL 25TH 2021

Complete TV: MLBN | Marquee Sports Network | Bally Sports Network Wrigley Field Chicago
957Diamondbacks Arizona
958Cubs Chicago
OP
9
-172
CU
9o 100
-1.5 +105
ML
ML: 360
ML: 400
Partials
1 4
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Score
1
5

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The Arizona Diamondbacks seek to win a second consecutive series for the first time since April when they visit the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

The clubs have split one-sided decisions to open the set, with backup catchers playing a dominant role.

Cubs catcher Robinson Chirinos provided much of the power in an 8-3 win on Friday, getting two home runs among three hits.

Chirinos was starting in place of Willson Contreras, who responded to the day off for rest with his 15th homer of the season in the Cubs' 7-3 loss on Saturday.

Contreras, who leads National League catchers in home runs, likely will make a second consecutive start on Sunday. Chirinos noted Friday he has no problem with that. He has no complaints about having a front-row seat at Wrigley Field.

"You always dream and see yourself here and doing good," Chirinos said. "It's just been an unbelievable time. I'm enjoying it since the first time I walked in the clubhouse."

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho recorded a career-high three RBIs with a double and a homer in Friday's loss. He nearly duplicated his feat on Saturday with a single, a home run and three RBIs.

Varsho has been replacing Carson Kelly, who suffered a broken right wrist last month.

The Diamondbacks have won five of their past six, having beaten the Cubs in the series finale last Sunday at home before taking three straight from Pittsburgh.

The last time they won consecutive series came on the road in late April, when they swept three in a row from Cincinnati before taking two of three at Atlanta.

The Diamondbacks credit improved health for their recent surge. Asdrubal Cabrera returned from a hamstring strain with a key pinch-hit double Saturday, while reliever Tyler Clippard made his second consecutive impressive relief appearance following a stint on the injured list.

The 36-year-old Clippard, who feared his career might be over, has put himself on the map as a possible trade acquisition by a contender. He retired six of the seven batters he faced last week, with two strikeouts.

"Certainly, I was always going to do everything I could to get back, and I think that mindset and the work that I put in, it paid off," Clippard said. "I'm just more thankful than ever to be active and playing again."

Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith (3-6, 4.38 ERA) and Cubs righty Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.68) are scheduled to duel in the series finale.

Smith is coming off his first win since April, throwing 6 2/3 innings against the Pirates on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs, including a no-decision for Miami in a 2019 loss at Wrigley Field in which he struck out a career-high 11 in 6 2/3 innings.

Williams, an Arizona State product, will face the Diamondbacks for the sixth time in his career. He has gone 1-3 with a 3.33 ERA in the first five meetings.

--Field Level Media

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs Recap JUL 25TH 2021

David Bote homered in his first game in nearly two months, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo connected on back-to-back home runs in the first inning and Trevor Williams pitched 6 1/3 shutout frames to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 5-1 victory against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon.

Chicago improved to 5-5 since the All-Star break, a run that includes victories in four of six meetings with Arizona. The Diamondbacks became the first club in the major leagues to reach 70 losses this season.

The Cubs seized an early lead against Arizona starter Caleb Smith, as Bryant followed a leadoff walk to Willson Contreras with a two-run shot to center field.

Rizzo drilled a round-tripper to right one batter later to put Chicago ahead 3-0.

Smith (3-7) retired the next 10 batters, but another walk to snap that streak proved costly. Two batters after issuing a free pass to Patrick Wisdom, the left-hander surrendered a two-run blast to Bote, who was activated from the injured list before the game after missing the past 48 games with a dislocated left shoulder. Sunday marked Bote's first contest since May 29.

Williams underwent an appendectomy one day after that (May 30) and was making his third appearance and second start since returning this month. Williams logged a season high in innings while scattering five hits and six strikeouts to improve to 4-2.

Pavin Smith, who had two hits, and Bryan Holaday doubled against Williams for Arizona's only extra-base hits of the afternoon. Andrew Young's RBI single with two outs in the ninth helped the Diamondbacks avoid a shutout.

Craig Kimbrel induced the lone batter he faced, Pavin Smith, to fly out to right to end the game and earn his 23rd save.

Arizona loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but was unable to score. The Diamondbacks went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position while stranding 10.

Caleb Smith allowed five runs on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Rizzo had two hits for the Cubs.

--Field Level Media

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