D-backs relievers Burgos, Perez unable to hold lead
By Jake Rill
PHOENIX -- A night after the D-backs used all of their relievers to pull out an extra-inning win over the Cubs, the bullpen didn't have the same good fortune trying to preserve a close game and keep the team's winning streak intact on Saturday night.
The D-backs bullpen allowed five runs in a 9-6 loss to the Cubs, with hard-throwing right-hander Enrique Burgos giving up a game-winning, three-run homer to slugger Anthony Rizzo in the ninth.
The game was tied at 6 when Burgos came on to begin the ninth. He allowed a one-out single to Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant reached on an error, and then Rizzo homered to snap the D-backs' five-game winning streak.
"I just saw the difference from last night to tonight," Burgos said. "When I threw the slider, he lowered pretty well so I think he was looking for it."
The D-backs rookie right-hander had been pitching well recently. He had pitched three straight scoreless outings and had allowed just one run in his previous 6 2/3 innings.
Burgos pitched a scoreless inning in Friday's win, striking out two, and still managed three strikeouts in one inning on Saturday, despite giving up the game-winning homer.
"I felt pretty good out there," Burgos said. "I think it was just one mistake, one pitch, it's not like I was all over the place."
Before Burgos' mistake, Oliver Perez had a pair of his own trying to preserve a 4-2 lead in the eighth. Perez entered the game with two outs and a runner on first to face left-handed Miguel Montero. After hitting Montero on the second pitch, Perez gave up a two-run double to Jorge Soler that tied the game at 6 and he exited without recording an out.
Unlike Burgos, Perez has not been on a great run of late. The veteran left-hander has given up four runs in his last 2 2/3 innings pitched, while seeing his ERA balloon to 7.20.
"I've been like good game, [then] bad game, so I'm going to have to be sure to get it better," Perez said. "I just have to get in a rhythm like last year, when I was confident to throw a fastball in a situation, a slider in a situation."
Last season, his first with the D-backs, Perez had a 2.91 ERA in 58 2/3 innings of relief. That's why D-backs manager Chip Hale said he is confident that the veteran left-hander will get back on track soon enough.
"He's had spurts where you've seen his stuff electric, he just needs to be consistent," Hale said. "He needs to get back on top and have confidence in himself and know that good things are going to happen."
Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.