Poor Start Dooms Cubs

Troy Glaus came within a single of hitting for the cycle Wednesday night at Bank One Ballpark, and the Cubs' offense couldn't rally from a 7-0 deficit. As such, the Arizona Diamondbacks cruised to an 8-3 victory over Ryan Dempster and company.

Glaus, who got a four-year, $45 million contract with Arizona in the offseason, started the scoring in the first inning with a two-out triple that brought home Luis Gonzalez for the Diamondbacks' first run.

With Brandon Webb making his fourth career start against the Cubs, Arizona had little to worry about. Webb (1-0) allowed a leadoff single to Corey Patterson in the first, but surrendered only four hits afterward and kept the Cubs scoreless until the sixth inning.

The Diamondbacks added two runs in the third when Royce Clayton and Gonzalez singled back-to-back to open the inning, and Jose Cruz Jr. followed with a base hit two outs later to score both runners and make it 3-0.

Things would get no better for Dempster (0-1), making his first major league start since July of 2003, in the fourth. After retiring Webb and Craig Counsell on just five pitches to open the inning, Dempster walked Clayton on four straight and then allowed Gonzalez's second hit of the night and fifth of the series to put runners at the corners. Glaus would then record his second hit of the night, a run-scoring double that extended the lead to 4-0.

Shawn Green's two-run single would make it 6-0, and finally Cruz followed with a double to deep right center off lefty Glendon Rusch in relief to score Glaus and up the lead to 7-0.

Dempster was tagged for all seven runs in only 3 2/3 innings. Seven of the 11 outs he recorded were by way of the strikeout.

Michael Barrett's three-run home run off Brian Bruney in the sixth gave the Cubs a ray of hope, but the Arizona bullpen held on for the victory. Glaus added his third hit of the night, a solo home run to right center off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth, to cap off the Diamondbacks' scoring.

Webb improved to 2-0 lifetime against the Cubs with a 1.69 ERA in four starts.

The Cubs stranded 10 on base and are now 12-21 lifetime at Bank One Ballpark. They will meet Milwaukee in the home opener at Wrigley Field starting at 1:20 p.m. (CDT) Friday. Kerry Wood is slated to make his first regular season start of '05 against Chris Capuano in the series opener. The Brewers are off to a 2-0 start compliments of an opening series sweep of the Pirates.


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