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ARI@SF: Kennedy holds Giants to two runs over six

After sputtering out of the All-Star break with eight runs and three losses in four games, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson decided he would rather wait for Arizona's bats to make a statement than attempt to come up with one of his own.

"If we quit talking about it, maybe we'll get better. Seriously," Gibson said Tuesday afternoon regarding his club's offensive struggles. "It's just every day we have to answer questions about it. It's hard, and I always try to focus on the positive things. Nobody is more critical of their performance than themselves. It's part of it. They get it. We're going to come out and push through today and we're going to come back and win again tomorrow. That's our mentality. It's a feel.

"If you get your mojo back, you'll be on your way."

Perhaps, then, the D-backs' 10-run, 14-hit outburst in Tuesday night's win over the Cubs will carry them into Wednesday night's matchup at Chase Field. With a close race shaping up atop the National League West, Arizona certainly could use a prolonged stretch of offensive success.

But they would also like to see a more consistent version of Ian Kennedy. The right-hander will take the mound Wednesday looking for his first win since June 1, the last time he faced the Cubs.

Half of Kennedy's eight outings since that win have been quality starts, but he's given up 24 runs in the other four games. Kennedy is coming off a solid performance against the Giants on Friday to begin the second half -- two runs on five hits in six innings -- and hopes to build off that.

"I think that's what separates the best pitchers in the game, is making adjustments, and I did that tonight," he said Friday. "The fastballs were better by the third inning. I was getting ground balls. It allowed me to work better with offspeed pitches."

Opposite Kennedy will be Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who recovered from his worst start of the year with a gem against the Rockies on Friday, giving up only one run in 7 1/3 innings.

Samardzija scattered four hits and struck out six, commanding his fastball and mixing in a nasty splitter, after entering the break with a nine-run outing against the Angels.

"If you were to ask me all year how I felt about my mechanics, I'd say they were off all year, to tell you the truth, until today," Samardzija said Friday. "So I'm really excited to stop making adjustments and really just work on pitch selection and pitch location."

Cubs: Soriano on the move?
• The Cubs have been busy this month leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and several reports Tuesday suggested that Alfonso Soriano could be the next player to leave Chicago.

After reports surfaced that the Yankees were "close" to acquiring Soriano, who broke into the Majors in the Bronx, Cubs officials said those rumors were premature. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday he and general manager Jed Hoyer would meet with Soriano to discuss the possibility of a return to New York along with several other options.

"There's a process to these type of trades, and we're still relatively early in the process," Epstein said. "They're not the first team to call. ... They're the first team to show up in the paper in their home city right away."

• Outfielder David DeJesus could be rejoining the Cubs soon. Out since June 14 with a sprained right shoulder, DeJesus has been playing in Arizona for the Cubs' Rookie League team. Manager Dale Sveum said DeJesus' rehab "is going really well right now."

D-backs: Reynolds set to play catch
• Lefty reliever Matt Reynolds is scheduled to end six weeks of doctor-prescribed inactivity by playing catch Wednesday, the first time he will have thrown since suffering a slight tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his left elbow on June 11.

Reynolds, who posted a 1.98 ERA in 30 games before hitting the disabled list, will be examined by team physicians Wednesday afternoon and should begin a throwing program that will eventually lead to a Minor League rehab assignment.

"It'll be exciting to get out there and start doing what I'm here to do," said Reynolds, 28, who initially thought he might need Tommy John surgery. "It feels like it's been a whole offseason since I've thrown."

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill threw a bullpen session Tuesday and will start for the Arizona League (Rookie) D-backs on Thursday. If all goes well in that outing, he'll move on to the final step of his rehab, a Minor League assignment.

Worth noting
• The Cubs are 7-45 this season when allowing four or more runs.

• The D-backs are 16-9 against the NL Central this season. Comments