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Diamondbacks beat Cubs but are elminated from playoff race

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Associated Press
9/29/2012 1:52:10 AM
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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks' wildcard chase ended early Friday night but the team battled on.

"What else are we supposed to do?" Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said after his club's 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "You try to win as many games as you can. That's what you're supposed to do. People are still out here to see you"

Justin Upton and Cody Ransom homered as the Diamondbacks snapped a two-game losing streak but still were eliminated from the NL wild card midway through the game when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 12-2.

"Because of your pride you never go out there and give up or roll over," Upton said. "We knew we were done but you still go out there and play the game right."

Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (15-11) was uncharacteristically wild, walking six in 5 1/3 innings but held the Cubs to three runs and four hits. The right-hander struck out five.

Kennedy's six walks were his second-most in 109 career starts, trailing only a nine-walk outing on June 26, 2010 at Tampa Bay. It was also one more walk than he had issued in his four previous September starts combined.

Among Kennedy's walks were three to Alfonso Soriano and another to Darwin Barney with a pinch-hitter for starter Travis Wood standing in the on-deck circle.

"There are good walks and bad walks," Kennedy said. "It's a matter of picking your spots. (Soriano), with one swing of the bat can tie the ball game up so I didn't want to give him anything to hit."

Kennedy became the fourth Diamondbacks pitcher to post consecutive 15-win seasons, joining Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb.

"To be in that company means a lot," Kennedy said.

Aaron Hill and A.J. Pollock had RBI doubles, and Adam Eaton added a run-scoring single for Arizona.

Dave Sappelt homered, and Wood (6-13) allowed five runs and five hits over five innings for the Cubs, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11. Wood struck out three and walked two in his second straight loss.

"A solo homer's OK but especially the two-run homer that Upton hit, that one hurt," Wood said. "That kind of put it out of reach and they kept tacking on after theat. If I could take that back, we were right there."

Chicago set a franchise record with its 57th loss away from Wrigley Field and is winless this season in road 17 games against the NL West.

"Our road record has been pretty awful," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "With not very good teams, that's usually what happens. You wish you had the magic potion for that one but even the great teams struggle on the road. They don't struggle as bad but you know the road is going to be difficult."

Eaton doubled to lead off the game and Pollock followed with a double to right-centre to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.

Ransom homered to left with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0.

Sappelt hit his second home run in four days, a two-out shot to left-centre field, to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth but Hill drove home Kennedy and Upton followed with a towering two-out homer to left to put Arizona back in front 5-2.

Starlin Castro doubled home Soriano in the sixth for the Cubs' final run.

The Diamondbacks added three runs in the eighth against Jaye Chapman the first scoring on a throwing error by Barney -- the second baseman's second of the season and first since April 17.

Barney had been three outs from setting the major league record with his 142nd consecutive errorless game at second. He finishes tied with Placido Polanco who went 141 games without an error at second in with Detroit in 2007.

"I felt for the kid," Gibson said. "He's a good kid and plays the game the right way from what I've seen of him."

NOTES: The Cubs lost 56 of 77 road games in 1956. . Kennedy reached the 200-inning mark to become the fifth pitcher in franchise history with consecutive 200-inning seasons. ... Castro, who entered the game in a 2-for-10 slide, went 3 for 4. ... The Diamondbacks' elimination from the pennant race officially came with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. ... Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt was scratched shortly before the first pitch with a sore back. Mike Jacobs took his place and hit sixth. ... RHP Justin Germano (2-9) will try to snap a seven-game losing streak when he takes the mound Saturday night for the Cubs against Arizona RHP Trevor Cahill (12-12). Cahill, who is one strikeout away from a career high 147, is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his past two starts at home.

BJ Upton (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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