PHOENIX — The Chicago Cubs offense tried to bail out the pitching staff.
For the second consecutive day, the Cubs showed fight in the ninth inning. However, this time they fell short in a 6-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Willson Contreras — who won Saturday’s game with a two-run homer in the Cubs’ three-run ninth — stepped to the plate Sunday as a pinch hitter representing the tying run. But Diamondbacks closer Joakim Soria struck him out looking on a 3-2 slider to end the game.
The Cubs were fortunate the game was that close. The Diamondbacks loaded the bases in four consecutive innings and had opportunities to blow the game open.
Cubs pitchers did just enough to limit the damage, including an odd sequence in the sixth that ended in a 3-2-1 double play when the Diamondbacks’ Kole Calhoun ducked to avoid Anthony Rizzo’s throw home and fell, then didn’t get up to continue running to first base.
The Diamondbacks scored two in the seventh off Dan Winkler to break a 2-2 tie and two more in the eighth off Rex Brothers to carry a 6-2 lead into the ninth.
Cubs starter Zach Davies couldn’t build off two good innings to begin the game. He walked four and allowed six hits and two runs in 4⅔ innings. He and four Cubs relievers combined to walk 11.
Kris Bryant hit two doubles and scored both times on Javier Báez singles.