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Murton's four doubles help Cubs earn split

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Matt Murton used the entire field to get into the major league record book.

Murton tied a league record with four doubles and also drove in five runs to help the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 and split a doubleheader Thursday.

"He hit all kind of doubles," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "He hit one down the line, a sun ball, one down the other line, one into right center. If you can spread it out like that, they really don't know how to play you."

The Diamondbacks won the first game 10-2 behind Stephen Drew's four RBI. Arizona split the four-game series and could have moved into first place in the NL West. San Diego defeated Houston 5-2 to stay a half-game up in the division.

"We had a real good chance to come in here and sweep this doubleheader today," Arizona catcher Johnny Estrada said.

Murton's four doubles tied a club record, which has been accomplished four times, the most recent being Hall of Famer Billy Williams on April 9, 1969.

His four hits and five RBI are a career high. Murton drove in one run in 23 games during June, and just four in May. But the 24-year-old outfielder has driven in 15 runs in the last 16 games, bringing his RBI total to 37 in 93 games.

"I think I'm starting to learn that more so than anything, when you get in those opportunities, it's important to not try and do too much," Murton said. "I'm just trying to have a consistent at-bat time and time again."

Murton's first three doubles drove in runs, helping give rookie starter Juan Mateo to an early lead.

"They scored seven runs, he knocked in five of them," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "Obviously he was a pain."

Mateo (1-0) gave up two earned runs in five innings to get his first major league victory. The 23-year-old has pitched in the Cubs farm system for five years, but never above Double-A. He became the third Cub this season to start in his major league debut, and the only one to win it.

"The main thing was that he threw strikes," said Baker, who had never seen Mateo pitch in person before. "He was very poised out there. He looked like he pitched here before."

Mateo was a mystery to the Diamondbacks too, but they started figuring him out in fourth and fifth innings, prompting Baker to remove him after 88 pitches.

"He's got a sneaky, live fastball," Arizona second baseman Orlando Hudson said. "He's got good stuff."

Murton's two-run double in the first off Enrique Gonzalez (3-3) gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. The ball hit the grass in front of a sliding Carlos Quentin, who lost it in the sun.

"It's an awesome stadium, it has quirks," Quentin said. "I found out today that day games are pretty tough in the sun."

Angel Pagan and Henry Blanco also drove in runs. Pagan's infield single scored Ryan Theriot from third to set up Murton's hit. Blanco's sacrifice bunt in the seventh scored Phil Nevin from third to make it 7-3.

Gonzalez gave up six runs in five innings.

Notes

  • Before Thursday, Murton had just 10 doubles.
  • Tampa Bay's Tomas Perez is the only other player this season to hit four doubles, doing it at Yankee Stadium on July 29.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Murton gets used to the view of Wrigley Field while standing at second base.  (AP)
Matt Murton gets used to the view of Wrigley Field while standing at second base. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Pagan
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

M. Murton
AB 4
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 5
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Jeff DaVanon, CF5121011
Orlando Hudson, 2B4021001
Luis Gonzalez, LF4000002
Shawn Green, 1B3110110
Johnny Estrada, C4000022
Carlos Quentin, RF3010100
Stephen Drew, SS4021001
Damion Easley, 3B3100111
Enrique Gonzalez, P1000001
    Tony Pena, P0000000
   a- Conor Jackson, PH1000000
    Mike Koplove, P0000000
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   b- Chad Tracy, PH1000001
Totals333833510 
a-popped out for Pena in the 7th
b-grounded out for Julio in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeff DaVanon (, Mateo), Orlando Hudson 2 (, Mateo, Eyre), Stephen Drew (, Dempster)
SH - Enrique Gonzalez ()
RBI - Jeff DaVanon (), Orlando Hudson (), Stephen Drew ()
Team LOB - 7
Arizona Diamondbacks
Enrique Gonzalez (L,-) 51066230
Tony Pena 1000000
Mike Koplove 1211000
Jorge Julio 1000010
Pitches-Strikes - Enrique Gonzalez 97-63, Tony Pena 5-5, Mike Koplove 18-11, Jorge Julio 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Enrique Gonzalez 6-6, Tony Pena 1-2, Mike Koplove 3-0, Jorge Julio 1-1
Batters Faced - Enrique Gonzalez 27, Tony Pena 3, Mike Koplove 5, Jorge Julio 3
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF5010000
Ryan Theriot, 2B4120001
    Scott Eyre, P0000000
    Bob Howry, P0000000
   a- John Mabry, PH1000010
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4110002
Phil Nevin, 1B2220200
Angel Pagan, RF4321003
Matt Murton, LF4045000
Henry Blanco, C2001001
Ronny Cedeno, SS3000013
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000
    Neifi Perez, 2B1000001
Juan Mateo, P2000020
   b- Cesar Izturis, PH-SS2000001
Totals3471272412 
a-struck out for Howry in the 8th
b-grounded out for Mateo in the 5th
Batting
2B - Matt Murton 4 (, En. Gonzalez, En. Gonzalez, En. Gonzalez, Koplove)
SH - Henry Blanco 2 ()
RBI - Angel Pagan (), Matt Murton 5 (), Henry Blanco ()
2-OUT RBI - Angel Pagan (), Matt Murton 2 ()
SB - Ryan Theriot (, 2nd base off En. Gonzalez/Estrada), Angel Pagan (, 2nd base off Koplove/Estrada)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Nevin, Nevin-Cedeno
E - Ronny Cedeno (, )
Chicago Cubs
Juan Mateo (W,-) 5632320
Michael Wuertz (H,) 1.1000010
Scott Eyre (H,) 1.1100020
Bob Howry 0.1000000
Ryan Dempster 1100000
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Mateo 88-54, Michael Wuertz 12-6, Scott Eyre 18-13, Bob Howry 4-3, Ryan Dempster 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Mateo 8-4, Michael Wuertz 1-2, Bob Howry 1-0, Ryan Dempster 2-1
Batters Faced - Juan Mateo 23, Michael Wuertz 4, Scott Eyre 5, Bob Howry 1, Ryan Dempster 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40715
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bruce Froemming, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Brian Runge