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Hill leads Diamondbacks over Cubs as Soriano waits

Caption
(Matt York)
Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro forces out Arizona Diamondbacks' Wil Nieves (27) during the sixth inning of a baseball game while trying to turn a double play, Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Phoenix. Cliff Pennington was safe at first. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX – Aaron Hill drove in two runs with a homer and double, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night and a split of their four-game series.

Cole Gillespie got the start in left field for the Cubs after Alfonso Soriano was removed from the lineup, pending completion of a trade to the New York Yankees. Soriano had yet to be dealt by the conclusion of the game, though he missed his second straight while the club was working out the deal.

Hill's first-inning double into the left-field corner plated Adam Eaton from first base with the Diamondbacks' first run. He hit his fifth home run of the season in the fifth, leading off the inning with a blast to left field.

Hill entered the game in a 4-for-31 slump over his previous eight games.

Wade Miley (7-8) worked 7 2-3 innings and didn't give up a run until the seventh. He allowed only five hits and struck out four despite being hit in the back of his lower right leg with a batted ball in the third inning.

Miley forced two broken bats in his last inning of work. He left to a standing ovation with a runner on third base in the top of the eighth.

Back-to-back, ground-rule doubles by Wil Nieves and Cliff Pennington gave Arizona a 2-0 lead. Pennington's hit was just out of the reach of Gillespie.

Without Soriano, the Cubs' lineup lacked punch. Chicago scored its only run when Wellington Castillo doubled in Gillespie.

Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado was shaken up when slid headfirst into second base on a hustle double. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro's leg jostled Prado's head as Castro came down from midair.

Prado remained in the game.

Closer Brad Ziegler, who only since the All-Star break has been the Diamondbacks' regular closer, picked up his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. But that inning included a ground-rule double for Nate Schierholtz after a fan reached over the yellow line above center field and caught the ball.

Fan interference was called, and the Cubs couldn't push across any runs.

Carlos Villanueva (2-7) took the loss after lasting five innings and allowing three runs and six hits.

NOTES: Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero missed his third straight game, but medical tests revealed only an inflammation in his lower back and nothing more serious. He's day-to-day. Ziegler has held opponents scoreless in 11 straight home games since May 27 and is 3-0 with four saves. Cubs OF Junior Lake has 15 hits through his first seven games as a major leaguer after an infield hit in the sixth. That hit total is the most by any Cubs player in that amount of games of a debut since at least 1916.

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