CHICAGO -- On Tuesday night, the D-backs made a key addition without a trade, as right-hander Clay Buchholz was activated off the disabled list and pitched a gem against the Cubs in a 5-1 win at Wrigley Field."I think, right now, getting healthy and having him throw the ball is
CHICAGO -- On Tuesday night, the D-backs made a key addition without a trade, as right-hander Clay Buchholz was activated off the disabled list and pitched a gem against the Cubs in a 5-1 win at Wrigley Field.
"I think, right now, getting healthy and having him throw the ball is something that we were very eager for," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "When you pick up someone at this point in the year and you haven't had them for a month, it's a huge boost for us, and he threw the ball extremely well. I guess you could consider it a Trade Deadline acquisition."
Providing the offense for Buchholz, the D-backs took a 3-0 lead in the fifth thanks to RBI hits by Paul Goldschmidt, Steven Souza Jr. and Jake Lamb. The win was the third in a row for the D-backs, who picked up a game on the first-place Dodgers, whom they trail by a half-game in the National League West.
Buchholz, who had been on the DL since June 24 with a strained left oblique, allowed just one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings to lower his ERA with the D-backs to 2.38 in eight starts.
"He's very good," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said of Buchholz. "He kept us off balance all night. He mixed his pitches up. He stayed on the corners, on the edges and he threw well."
Buchholz signed a Minor League deal with the Royals in the offseason, but opted out of his contract when he wasn't called up on May 1. The D-backs signed him to a Minor League deal on May 5 and he was promoted to the big leagues on May 20 after Robbie Ray was injured.
In his first four starts for the D-backs, he allowed just five runs in 24 innings, and in his first seven starts before getting injured on June 24 in Pittsburgh, he allowed more than two runs in a game just once.
"I felt pretty good for about two weeks now," said Buchholz, who made one rehab appearance for Class A Advanced Visalia. "You can do all the rehab starts you want, but nothing quite gets down to it like that, like a nine-inning game in a park like this with a great atmosphere and really good team. From the start, they were swinging in the first inning. For the most part, that's good for me whenever I'm able to locate and throw four pitches for strikes."
Buchholz pitched for the Red Sox for parts of 10 seasons, and he faced the Cubs one other time in his career, but Tuesday marked the first time he had pitched at Wrigley Field, which he said reminded him a lot of Fenway Park.
"It's got the same sort of feel, people right on top of you," Buchholz said. "You can hear people yelling at you when you come off the field, so it's a fun atmosphere to play baseball."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rebounding: D-backs setup man Archie Bradley struggled in his last outing, allowing six runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Rockies on July 20. The right-hander entered Tuesday's game with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and Albert Almora Jr. at the plate. Bradley struck out Almora to end the threat.
"When you have a bad game like I did the other night, it gets magnified and blown up," Bradley said. "I mean, it cost us the game. I lost the game for us, and you just have to take a step back and understand that you're going to have some bad games and look pretty bad. The one thing you want to do is get back out there, get back on the mound and help your team win a game. Fortunately, it was a huge situation and I was able to do that tonight."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Souza was tagged out while trying to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning. In the process, he slid into Javier Baez after the throw took the Cubs' second baseman into the baseline. Baez left the game an inning later. In the top of the ninth, Souza was hit by a pitch and had a heated discussion with Rizzo when he got to first base.
"They're just protecting their player, honestly," Souza said. "Obviously Anthony didn't think the slide was great, and that's his opinion, but ultimately they're just protecting their guy. I wanted to make sure they knew that I wasn't trying to hurt him, and I would never try to hurt anyone in this game."
HE SAID IT
"I love the way Javy Baez plays. I love him as a player, and there was zero intent in my heart to try to take him out. If he's injured, that would hurt me, and I would never want to do something like that. I just had nowhere to go. The throw took him up the line and he dropped his knee, so it was either I slide headfirst into his leg or I slide into his arm. Something was going to happen with the collision, and unfortunately it ended like that. ... I just hope he's OK." -- Souza
Ray (3-2, 5.37 ERA) will get the start for the D-backs at 11:20 a.m. MST on Wednesday in the third game of the four-game set at Wrigley Field. Ray has yet to rediscover the form from his All-Star season in 2017. Over his past four starts, his ERA is 7.65. The Cubs will counter with left-hander Jonathan Lester (12-3, 3.14 ERA).
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.