Monday, August 16, 2010 at 7:35 a.m.
The Arizona Diamondbacks finished their road trip with a win sandwiched between two losses to the Washington Nationals. Catcher Miguel Montero keyed Saturday's 9-2 victory with two home runs and three RBI to back starting pitcher Ian Kennedy's fine performance. Kennedy (pictured above) pitched seven innings, giving up only two runs on five hits while striking out seven Nats.
The two losses were at least close, meaning the D-Backs' pitching staff -- especially its relievers -- were no worse than average, which is a step up from the first half of the season. In Friday's 4-2 loss, Joe Saunders was knocked around in the first two innings, when the Nats scored all of their runs. But Saunders settled down to keep his team in the game.
In Sunday's 5-3 defeat, rookie Barry Enright gave up three runs in five innings but actually outlasted Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg, who stayed in the game for only 4.1 innings. Unfortunately, the Nats' bullpen outdueled the D-Backs relievers, who let the Nats and their best hitter, Ryan Zimmerman, peck away, scoring two runs in the late innings to secure the 5-3 win.
The D-Backs have the day off today before they enter the final six weeks of the season -- just 43 games to go! -- with a series against the National League Central-leading Cincinnati Reds. Bronson Arroyo (12-7, 3.94) will start for the Reds and rookie Daniel Hudson (4-1, 3.52) will go for the D-Backs. First pitch is 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM.