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Diamondbacks sweep Cubs in critical three-game series

Sep 17, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks infielders Ketel Marte (4) and Jordan Lawlar (10) celebrate after Marte s home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Diamondbacks picked up a series sweep against the Cubs on Sunday with a 6-2 win. This win also capped off a successful 6-1 season record against Chicago.

In the bottom of the first, Arizona sparked an early rally that began with Ketel Marte drawing a leadoff walk. A couple of base hits later, the Diamondbacks grabbed a 3-0 lead before fans even finished settling into their seats.

On the mound for the D-backs was rookie Ryne Nelson, who has seen his ERA recently skyrocket to 5.53 after a couple of disappointing starts.

Tonight, while he did exit with a 3-2 lead, his inability to find the strike zone continued to haunt the 25-year-old. His three walks against the Cubs marked Nelson’s third consecutive start in which he walked at least two batters.

Nelson exited after three innings; he allowed two earned runs on four hits.

However, the Diamondbacks bullpen was right there to pick up the struggling rookie.

Combining five different pitchers, the Diamondbacks’ relievers tossed 5.2 shutout innings while allowing just three runners to reach.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s offense continued to tack on some runs for further breathing room.

Ketel Marte led the scoring charge with a 2/4 night at the plate, which included a two-run homer in the 6th inning.

With this win, the Diamondbacks now claim sole possession of the second Wild Card spot in the National League with just 11 games left on the schedule.

Up next for Arizona is a two-game series against the Giants. Luckily for the Diamondbacks, they will have Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly taking the mound with the hopes of gaining further ground on the Marlins, Reds, Giants, and Cubs, who are breathing closely down their necks.

It will be the final series before the D-backs embark on a six-game road trip versus the Yankees and White Sox.

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