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CHICAGO – For months, the Diamondbacks padded their record by feasting on the soft underbelly of the National League, compiling an impressive record against losing teams. Things have not come as easily when the going has gotten tough, which is what makes the month of August a compelling test for a club with playoff aspirations.

The Diamondbacks opened the toughest portion of their schedule on Tuesday night by turning in their ugliest loss of the year, a 16-4 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. They trailed 2-0 after the first, 6-0 after two and 8-1 after three. They coughed up a seven-spot in the sixth inning. The performance was at least as ugly as the score would suggest, if not worse.

BOX SCORE: Cubs 16, Diamondbacks 4

Over the remaining 30 days of the month, the Diamondbacks will play 28 games. Fifteen of them will come against over .500 teams, a caliber of opponent against whom the Diamondbacks are just 19-20 this season. But they aren’t just playing good teams. They’re playing what might be the best teams baseball has to offer.

Tuesday’s was the first of six against the Chicago Cubs, who not only are the reigning champs but are 14-3 since the All-Star break. They have six against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who, at 75-31, have baseball’s best record and just added Yu Darvish to their rotation. And they have four against the Houston Astros, who despite a recent slump own the best record in the American League.

“I think every series is a big series, every game is a big game,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday afternoon. “That’s how we’ve been taking them all year long, not to take anything for granted. We want to go out there and earn things. What better place can you test yourself than against the defending World Series champions in a great environment?”

If Tuesday were a test, the Diamondbacks did not score well. Anthony Rizzo clobbered a pair of home runs, one of five the Cubs would hit on the night. Even opposing pitcher Jon Lester went deep, hitting one of three left-hander Patrick Corbin served up in his three innings.

“We all know what type of team they are,” said Corbin, who allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and a walk. “I just didn’t have it tonight. I’ve got to get better, go out there and work. It starts with fastball command and that was something that I lacked tonight.”

The Diamondbacks’ defense did not help matters. Brandon Drury, getting the start at third base for the first time this season, had a potential Kris Bryant double-play ball shoot through his legs in the second. Newcomer Adam Rosales, acquired after the Diamondbacks lost two shortstops in a matter of hours on Sunday, booted another possible double play in the seventh. Both miscues played a part in big innings for the Cubs.

Lovullo managed to find a couple of bright spots. The Diamondbacks made Lester work, chasing him three batters into the fifth after 104 pitches. They also got a perfect eighth inning from infielder/outfielder/relief pitcher Daniel Descalso, who induced three consecutive fly-ball outs.

“I know the guys were laughing and joking as he came into the dugout,” Lovullo said. “You’re looking for moments like that in games like this.”

The Diamondbacks pride themselves on their ability to compartmentalize losses, on turning the page and starting fresh the next day. They have had to do it a lot lately. They’re 10-18 since June 28, and they lost a game off their lead on a wild-card spot; they lead the Milwaukee Brewers by 4 1/2 games.

“We’ll see how this team responds tomorrow,” Lovullo said. “They’ve done it all year long.”

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Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

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Wednesday’s game

Diamondbacks at Cubs

When: 5:05 p.m.

Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago.

Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (4-4, 3.06) vs. Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (10-7, 4.03).

TV/Radio: FSAZ/KTAR-AM (620), KHOV-FM (105.1).

In a season filled with good starts, Godley is coming off perhaps his best of the year. He gave up just four hits and two walks in seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. … It snapped a two-start skid in which he’d given up 11 runs (10 earned) in 11 2/3 innings. … Godley, who was drafted by the Cubs in the 10th round in 2013 and traded to the Diamondbacks in the C Miguel Montero deal, has faced his original organization just once, giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings in 2015. … Arrieta had a 5.44 ERA on May 14 but has logged a 3.20 ERA in 13 starts since, including posting a 2.25 ERA in five starts in July. … He has had trouble this year against left-handed hitters, who have an .801 OPS against him. … 1B Paul Goldschmidt is 4 for 13 (.308) with one double and one home run off Arrieta but Diamondbacks hitters as a whole have hit .205/.233/.289 career against him.

Coming up

Thursday: At Chicago, 11:20 a.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (13-4, 2.84) vs. Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (6-6, 3.88).

Friday: At San Francisco, 7:15 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (6-5, 3.55) vs. Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 2.92).

Saturday: At San Francisco, 6:05 p.m., Diamondbacks TBA vs. Giants RHP Matt Cain (3-9, 5.37).