The Arizona Diamondbacks have little chance of making the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
The Chicago Cubs ' only chance of avoiding their first 100-loss season in 46 years is picking up a rare win in an NL West ballpark.
Arizona goes for a fifth straight home win in this series Friday night when the Cubs try to end a 17-game road losing streak against West opponents.
After last season's worst-to-first turnaround in the West, the Diamondbacks (78-78) will likely be watching the postseason this year as they trail St. Louis by six games for the NL's second wild-card spot with six games left.
"We haven't played well enough. That's why we're in the position we're in. It's disappointing," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website following Thursday's 7-3 loss to San Francisco.
Arizona opens its final homestand against a Cubs team 0-16 in West parks this season following Thursday's 7-5 loss to Colorado.
Chicago (59-97), which has a franchise record-tying 56 road losses, is winless on the road against West foes since a 6-2 victory versus San Diego on Sept. 27, 2011.
If the Cubs can't win one of these three games in the desert - they were swept in their last trip to Phoenix from June 22-24 - they'll lose 100 games for the first time since finishing 59-103 in 1966.
Even if Chicago wins once during this set, it will have to sweep major league-worst Houston at home next week to avoid triple digits in losses.
The Cubs, losers of five straight and nine of 10, kick off their final road series with Travis Wood (6-12, 4.23 ERA) on the hill.
The left-hander has a chance to set a career high in wins, but it's been a rough second half for the first-year Cub. He's been tagged for 15 home runs - though none in his last five games - while going 2-9 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 starts since the All-Star break.
Wood will get his first look at Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt , who is among the NL's best against southpaws with a .351 batting average.
Goldschmidt, who is 13 for 36 during a 10-game hitting streak, is 6 for 18 with a homer, a triple and two doubles against the Cubs this season.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo , who had a homer among his three hits Thursday, will make his first appearance in Arizona in a Cubs uniform. He went 4 for 11 in a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks from July 13-15.
Alfonso Soriano was 6 for 11 with two homers and five RBIs in that series at Wrigley Field to improve his batting average against the Diamondbacks this season to .435.
Soriano could have a good a chance to add to his career-best RBI total of 106, as he's 6 for 11 with three homers lifetime against Friday's starter Ian Kennedy (14-11, 4.14).
The right-hander, who was denied a third consecutive winning start after yielding four runs in Sunday's 10-7 victory at Colorado, is 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in two starts versus Chicago this season.
Darwin Barney , a .412 hitter (7 for 17) against Diamondbacks pitching this season, can set a major league record with his 142nd consecutive errorless game as a second baseman. He is tied with Placido Polanco , who set that mark in 2007 with Detroit.
|September 11, 2012||Anthony Rizzo||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right shoulder|
|September 07, 2012||Blake Parker||60-Day DL||Bone contusion in right elbow|
|September 07, 2012||Brett Jackson||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right knee|
|July 28, 2012||Matt Garza||60-Day DL||Stress reaction, right elbow|
|July 21, 2012||Matt Garza||Day-to-Day||Left game - right triceps cramp|
|June 16, 2012||Ryan Dempster||15-Day DL||Right lat tightness|
|September 11, 2012||J.J. Putz||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|August 30, 2012||Chris Johnson||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|August 21, 2012||Justin Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Tight hamstring|
|August 17, 2012||Jason Kubel||Day-to-Day||Neck stiffness|
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks ' wildcard chase ended early Friday night but the team battled on.
"What else are we supposed to do?" Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said after his club's 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs . "You try to win as many games as you can. That's what you're supposed to do. People are still out here to see you"
Justin Upton and Cody Ransom homered as the Diamondbacks snapped a two-game losing streak but still were eliminated from the NL wild card midway through the game when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 12-2.
"Because of your pride you never go out there and give up or roll over," Upton said. "We knew we were done but you still go out there and play the game right."
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (15-11) was uncharacteristically wild, walking six in 5 1/3 innings but held the Cubs to three runs and four hits. The right-hander struck out five.
Kennedy's six walks were his second-most in 109 career starts, trailing only a nine-walk outing on June 26, 2010 at Tampa Bay. It was also one more walk than he had issued in his four previous September starts combined.
Among Kennedy's walks were three to Alfonso Soriano and another to Darwin Barney with a pinch-hitter for starter Travis Wood standing in the on-deck circle.
"There are good walks and bad walks," Kennedy said. "It's a matter of picking your spots. (Soriano), with one swing of the bat can tie the ball game up so I didn't want to give him anything to hit."
Kennedy became the fourth Diamondbacks pitcher to post consecutive 15-win seasons, joining Randy Johnson , Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb .
"To be in that company means a lot," Kennedy said.
Aaron Hill and A.J. Pollock had RBI doubles, and Adam Eaton added a run-scoring single for Arizona.
Dave Sappelt homered, and Wood (6-13) allowed five runs and five hits over five innings for the Cubs, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11. Wood struck out three and walked two in his second straight loss.
"A solo homer's OK but especially the two-run homer that Upton hit, that one hurt," Wood said. "That kind of put it out of reach and they kept tacking on after theat. If I could take that back, we were right there."
Chicago set a franchise record with its 57th loss away from Wrigley Field and is winless this season in road 17 games against the NL West.
"Our road record has been pretty awful," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "With not very good teams, that's usually what happens. You wish you had the magic potion for that one but even the great teams struggle on the road. They don't struggle as bad but you know the road is going to be difficult."
Eaton doubled to lead off the game and Pollock followed with a double to right-center to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Ransom homered to left with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0.
Sappelt hit his second home run in four days, a two-out shot to left-center field, to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth but Hill drove home Kennedy and Upton followed with a towering two-out homer to left to put Arizona back in front 5-2.
Starlin Castro doubled home Soriano in the sixth for the Cubs' final run.
The Diamondbacks added three runs in the eighth against Jaye Chapman the first scoring on a throwing error by Barney - the second baseman's second of the season and first since April 17.
Barney had been three outs from setting the major league record with his 142nd consecutive errorless game at second. He finishes tied with Placido Polanco who went 141 games without an error at second in with Detroit in 2007.
"I felt for the kid," Gibson said. "He's a good kid and plays the game the right way from what I've seen of him."
NOTES: The Cubs lost 56 of 77 road games in 1956. . Kennedy reached the 200-inning mark to become the fifth pitcher in franchise history with consecutive 200-inning seasons. ... Castro, who entered the game in a 2-for-10 slide, went 3 for 4. ... The Diamondbacks' elimination from the pennant race officially came with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. ... Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt was scratched shortly before the first pitch with a sore back. Mike Jacobs took his place and hit sixth. ... RHP Justin Germano (2-9) will try to snap a seven-game losing streak when he takes the mound Saturday night for the Cubs against Arizona RHP Trevor Cahill (12-12). Cahill, who is one strikeout away from a career high 147, is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his past two starts at home.