CHICAGO -- In parts of three seasons with the Cubs, outfielder Gary Varsho hit three home runs in 99 career games at Wrigley Field.
Varsho went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs on Saturday afternoon as the D-backs waited out a 1-hour, 39-minute rain delay after the top of the ninth inning to beat the Cubs, 7-3, and even the three-game weekend set at a game apiece.
In the first two games of this series, Varsho went 4-for-8 with a double, two homers and six RBIs, accounting for all but four of the runs scored by Arizona.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo worked with Gary Varsho in Cleveland’s player development department, and he knows how proud Gary is of his son, whom the D-backs selected in the second round out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the 2017 MLB Draft.
"I know that there was half of his hometown probably in the stands today," Lovullo said, referring to Marshfield, Wis. "That's what makes [his performance] even more impressive. He's been blocking it out the past couple days, had some good at-bats and meaningful moments. So I'm sure his dad and his mom and the rest of his crew today will get a chance to celebrate with him, and they should be very proud of him."
Varsho was unavailable after the game, because he and his family had to hustle out for their evening plans.
The 25-year-old has gotten more consistent playing time of late with the right wrist injury to catcher Carson Kelly and the trade of veteran backstop Stephen Vogt to the Braves. Varsho has made the most of it, going 8-for-15 with a pair of doubles, three homers and eight RBIs in his past four games.
"As far as how he's playing, it's great to see," said D-backs starter Merrill Kelly. "I mean, he's a hard-nosed kid, he works real hard. He cares a lot. So I think with the consistent playing time, I think you're going to see more of that."
Like Varsho, Kelly has had a lot of recent success against the Cubs.
Kelly, who beat the Cubs in his last start at Chase Field, was outstanding against them again Saturday. Over six innings, he allowed a pair of runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
One of the Cubs' runs came on Willson Contreas' homer in the fourth.
"It was good," Kelly said of his outing. "The game plan was somewhat similar. I knew they were aggressive, just based on what they were doing last outing. Obviously, I would like that pitch back from Contreras. Just missed with a bad cutter in the middle of the zone. But other than that, I was happy with it.
Kelly also recorded his first career extra-base hit, a double in the fifth.
"Every blind squirrel finds a nut at some point," Kelly said. "I feel more confident, I feel more comfortable at the plate. I think it's just the more repetitions I get, the less foreign the batter's box and the strike zone and different pitches kind of look and feel to me. But I got lucky today, [Alec Mills] threw me a fastball that was up in the zone, and I was able to put a good swing on it."