7/15 Extra bases
* On Saturday, Ryan Dempster earned his career-best, fifth-straight win, tossing six scoreless innings. Dempster extended his scoreless-innings streak to 33 dating to his start June 5 vs. the Twins. It’s the longest scoreless-innings streak by a Cubs starter since Ken Holtzman also tossed 33 scoreless innings in 1969. Dempster’s scoreless-innings streak is one of only four streaks to reach 33 IP in the last 95 seasons of Cubs baseball dating to 1918 (also, Bill Lee 37 IP & 35 IP in 1938; Holtzman 33 IP in 1969). The 33 scoreless innings are a career high for Dempster, surpassing his previous mark of 30 1/3 set between the 2005-06 seasons as a reliever.
* The Cubs head into Sunday’s game riding a season-high five-game win streak at home. The Cubs now are 21-20 at Wrigley, moving above the .500 mark at home for the first time since they were 6-5 following play, April 23, 2011.
* Reed Johnson (2-for-4, 2B) is batting .563 (9-for-16) since July 5 at Atlanta.
* Darwin Barney (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) extended his errorless streak at second base to 74 games and 597 1/3 innings since his last miscue (4/17 @ MIA – 8th inn.).
* Carlos Marmol has converted his last eight save opportunities dating to May 2 at Cincinnati.
* With Saturday’s win clinching a series victory over the D-Backs, the Cubs are unbeaten in their last five series (4-0-1 dating to June 25-27 vs. the Mets) for the first time since September 9-25, 2008 (4-0-1).
* The Cubs are 11-4 in the last 15 games and 27-15 record when scoring four or more runs. They also are 5-1 in the last six games and 6-2 in the last eight against left-handed starting pitchers dating to June 25 vs. the Mets.
* Friday notes: Alfonso Soriano (4-for-4, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI) recorded his 30th-career, multi-homer game and his second of 2012 (also, June 8 vs. Twins). Soriano has totaled 149 homers as a member of the Cubs, surpassing Mark Grace for sole possession of 13th place on the club’s all-time list. Soriano’s five RBI tied his career high (it is the seventh time he has accomplished the feat, most recently Sept. 6, 2008 vs. the Reds).
* Paul Maholm earned his third-straight win on Friday. He is 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in four appearances (three starts) since June 29.
– Carrie Muskat