Soler laces RBI triple as Cubs fall to D-backs

Soler laces RBI triple as Cubs fall to D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Cubs, 9-5, on Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd at Salt River Fields.

Socrates Brito drove home the tying run and Chris Owings the go-ahead run as the D-backs pummeled a trio of Chicago relievers.

The Cubs rallied for three runs to take a lead in the fifth inning, with Starlin Castro driving home the first two runs on a double to right field and Jorge Soler capping the rally with an RBI triple to left-center.

Castro's two-run double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Mixed bag for De La Rosa: After looking sharp in his first two appearances this spring, Rubby De La Rosa has struggled with his command in his last two. He walked four in three innings on Saturday against the Mariners, and he walked four Cubs on Thursday, this time over four innings.

"Today I threw a lot of breaking balls, 10 to 12," De La Rosa said. "I didn't do that the last couple of outings, but today I feel good about having that ability and control to throw it in any count."

Fowler taking the lead: The Cubs hope Dexter Fowler can be their leadoff man. Fowler went 1-for-2 with two walks on Thursday, hitting an RBI double in the third. He has a career .366 on-base percentage batting first, and last year, batted .271 in the No. 1 spot. Chicago tried 11 leadoff men last season.

Fowler's RBI double

Laird keeps impressing: Gerald Laird continued his bid for a backup-catcher spot with an RBI double down the left-field line in the fourth inning to give Arizona a 3-2 lead.

"He has just come in and done everything we've asked," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "What's impressed me is his catching. He's done a good job handling our staff, and he's had some really good at-bats. He looks fresh."

Laird's RBI double

Soler's fancy footwork: The Cubs have been careful with Soler this spring to avoid leg injuries that have slowed him the last two seasons. He looked just fine running out his RBI triple. The right fielder also robbed Paul Goldschmidt of an extra-base hit to end the fifth.

Soler's RBI triple

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

• Cubs pitchers combined to strike out five batters, and rank third in the Majors this spring with 137 strikeouts.

• Castro's throwing error in the fourth led to a D-backs run. The Cubs have committed 21 errors this spring, second highest in the Majors.

• The D-backs and Taco Bell will now offer three free tacos every time the D-backs score at least five runs in 2015. In previous years, the team needed to score six runs in order for fans to get free tacos.

QUOTABLE

• "I thought he threw the ball well. He got a little disappointed with a strike three call that he thought he should have got and he seemed to let it affect him a little bit on the next hitters." -- Hale, on De La Rosa

• "Sometimes you close your eyes and you get lucky. You can help yourself a little bit." -- Cubs starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, on his RBI double in the third

Jackson's RBI double

WHAT'S NEXT

Travis Wood makes the start Friday as the Cubs travel to Glendale for the first of two games this spring against the White Sox. The Cubs also host their crosstown rivals on March 27. Wood is battling for the one opening in the Cubs' rotation, and so far the lefty has looked sharp. He's given up two earned runs over 10 innings in his three Cactus League outings while striking out eight. Fans can watch the game live on MLB.TV or listen to an exclusive audio webcast on Cubs.com, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT.

Steve Gilbert and Carrie Muskat are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.