CHICAGO - On the first day of their makeover, the Diamondbacks looked runway-ready. Sort of the way Luis Gonzalez always seems here. New right fielder Chad Tracy homered in his first at-bat and made a diving catch on a tricky line drive.
New center fielder Shawn Green had his first four-hit game in a year and a half.
And Gonzalez supplied the most telling hit, a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning as the D-Backs posted their second straight shutout, a 6-0 victory over the Cubs before 39,154 at Wrigley Field.
"It's huge. He's our guy,'' manager Bob Melvin said.
"This has been a good ball park for me. I enjoy coming in here and playing,'' said Gonzalez, who had three hits and found a comfort level here while with the Cubs in 1995-96.
So on the first day of the rest of their season, the D-Backs gained a game in the NL West.
The D-Backs (50-54) closed to within two games of San Diego, which lost to St. Louis at the same time the D-Backs were playing. The D-Backs have not been closer since June 17, when they were 1 1/2 games back.
"We still have a long way to go. We will occasionally take a peek up there (scoreboard), but the bottom line is to try to get to .500 and work our way over that,'' Gonzalez said.
"Everybody is kind of making fun of our division, but we have some tough teams in there.''
While the D-Backs had 13 hits, they still left a season-high 15 on base, and did not give starter Brad Halsey much breathing room until Gonzalez's homer.
Luis Terrero's two-run single after a wild pitch brought in the first run of a three-run ninth made it look easier than it was.
"Our starters (starting pitchers) have been outstanding,'' Gonzalez said.
"Offensively, we are trying to get back on track. We've left a lot of runners on base. We know that. Halsey pitched a great game.''
Halsey threw six shutout innings before leaving for pinch-hitter Conor Jackson in the seventh, Jackson's first career at-bat, and the bullpen provided three more scoreless innings as the D-Backs posted their fourth shutout in the past 15 games. They have not allowed a run in 19 innings.
Jackson's addition at the expense of Jose Cruz Jr. on Wednesday created a position shuffle in which Green moved from right field to center and Tracy moved from first base to right, with Tony Clark and Jackson divvying up time at first. Clark had two doubles.
"It works out good for us,'' Gonzalez said. "It's nice to get an extra stick in there, especially Tony, the way he has been swinging the bat.
"It's a huge difference for our lineup. It's another threat in there, a guy who has been a contributor all year.''
Halsey (7-7) retired nine straight batters in the third, fourth and fifth, helped by Tracy's sliding catch to his left on Jeromy Burnitz's line drive.
"It's one of those you just go for and hopefully get there,'' said Tracy, playing his first career game in right.
"A lot of times it is good when you get tested on a play like that because your confidence goes up afterward,'' Melvin said.
Halsey gave up four hits and had only one walk, an intentional walk to MVP candidate Derrek Lee with a runner on third and two outs in a 1-0 game in the sixth.
Halsey nicked Aramis Ramirez with an inside fastball to load the bases before getting Michael Barrett to ground to third.
"Boy, I tell you, Halsey (pitched great) against a lineup that can hit left-handed pitching,'' Melvin said.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters Lee (.367 against lefties), Ramirez (.341) and Barrett (.314) were 1-for-10.
"I'm commanding my fastball better,'' said Halsey, who has given up only five earned runs over his last four starts, a span of 27 innings while lowering his ERA to 3.81.
"I'm gaining confidence with each outing.''