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Bolsinger impresses with bat, arm to tally first win

Chicago native drives in run, allows one unearned run over 6 2/3 frames

CHICAGO -- Two wins in a row might not seem like much for a big league team.

Right now for the Arizona Diamondbacks, though, it's a big step.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Two wins in a row might not seem like much for a big league team.

Right now for the Arizona Diamondbacks, though, it's a big step.

View Full Game Coverage

Behind the pitching of Chicago native Mike Bolsinger, the D-backs beat the Cubs, 5-2, on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

It is just the second time this year that the D-backs have managed two victories in a row and they head home having split the four-game series with the Cubs after losing two of three to the Dodgers.

"It was a tough trip," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We were 3-4 on it. We'd like to do better than that. We were in a very tough time and we were pressing very hard, but it seemed like we came out more relaxed today, and guys are feeling better about themselves."

Bolsinger had a contingent of friends and family in attendance. The 26-year-old grew up not far from Wrigley Field before moving at age 10 and until this week, had never gotten to step out on the field.

The Cubs probably wish he hadn't Thursday as he held them to one unearned run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings to earn his first Major League win in his third appearance (second start).

"I did have a little bit more nerves being closer to home," Bolsinger said. "Every once in a while I had a tendency to look over and see my family and friends over there cheering me on. It's definitely good to have everyone there. Some of those people haven't seen me since I was probably waist high on them. It was good to see them, too."

Rather than sit in his hotel room the night before the start, Bolsinger decided to go to the Chicago Blackhawks NHL playoff game against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center.

Bolsinger, who grew up a huge Blackhawks fan, watched his boyhood team come away with a thrilling 4-3 overtime win in Game 4.

"I kind of took the excitement of that game out onto the mound," he said. "That kind of stuff fires me up. I love hockey. I played when I was little. Growing up and in high school. That was one of the first sports I ever played before baseball."

The D-backs gave him some early runs to work with as Gerardo Parra led off the game with a single and scored two outs later when Miguel Montero laced a double to right.

The Cubs tied the score in the bottom half of the inning thanks in part to an error by left fielder Roger Kieschnick, who was playing in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Reno.

The D-backs, though, grabbed the lead right back in the second.

Cliff Pennington led off with a walk off Edwin Jackson and Tony Campana followed with a double to left that scored Pennington.

Bolsinger helped his own cause when he then singled to left driving home Campana and giving the D-backs a 3-1 lead.

Bolsinger settled in after that and scattered three more hits before departing in favor of Oliver Perez with two outs in the seventh and a runner on second.

"Bolsinger, he threw the ball well, he made good pitches when he needed it," Montero said. "He was working ahead in the count. He mixed his breaking ball, changeup, fastball, it was good."

The Cubs did not sound overly impressed, though, after the game.

"It was nothing special," Chicago shortstop Starlin Castro said. "His curve is his best pitch. We have to do more against him. I think next time we face him, we got him."

Jackson allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings to suffer the loss against his former team.

"Obviously, we know Edwin has a great arm," said Montero, who caught Jackson during his time in Arizona. "Obviously, you don't know what to expect. It's hit or miss. He's a guy that can come and dominate it and a guy that can come and pitch around too much with that kind of arm."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Mike Bolsinger, Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero