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The Snake Charmer (Cubs-Diamondbacks Recap, 08.11.17)

Sammantha-Maria Herbaugh/ALOST
Though Ian Happ's bat saw its last pitch, it came though as Happ hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the Cubs some insurance against Arizona on Friday. (Sammantha-Maria Herbaugh/ALOST)
Though Ian Happ’s bat saw its last pitch, it came though for the Cubs as Happ hit a broken-bat RBI single in the eighth inning to give Chicago some insurance against Arizona on Friday night. (Sammantha-Maria Herbaugh/ALOST)

 

PHOENIX — Unlike the fictional explorer and teacher Indiana Jones, John Lackey embraces the presence of snakes, especially when they’re in the form of Diamondbacks on the baseball diamond.

Lackey struck out seven in 5.1 innings of work as the Cubs defeated Arizona 7-3 in the first of a three-game series at Chase Field between National League playoff hopefuls. The win improved Lackey’s career mark against Arizona to 5-0.

Chicago did not take long to get on the board, with two runs in the first inning off of Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker and both coming in to score without the benefit of a hit. After two hits and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, Alex Avila walked to force in the game’s first run. Catcher Chris Herrmann then committed a passed ball with Jason Heyward batting, allowing Ben Zobrist to score to double the lead.

Lackey made that lead stand up, holding the Diamondbacks scoreless for the first four innings. He now has recorded the victory in five consecutive starts dating back to July 18.

Arizona made a game of it in the fifth inning as they capitalized on Lackey’s only real mistake of the game. David Peralta hit a two-run home run into right-center field with two outs to cut the Cubs lead to 3-2.

Kyle Schwarber and Avila hit back-to-back solo home runs in the next half inning to restore the Cubs’ three-run lead in the sixth. Chicago added three runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Javier Baez, Ian Happ and John Jay, all off of Arizona reliever T.J. McFarland.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from today’s game, with all photos taken by Arizona-based photographer Sammantha-Maria Herbaugh. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 15 pictures in total.

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