The Arizona Diamondbacks missed an opportunity over the weekend to keep pace with the suddenly surging San Francisco Giants in the National League West. As the Giants won their sixth-straight game Sunday, the D-backs lost their second of three to the San Diego Padres, the presumptive division doormat.
For the D-backs, it was their fifth loss in six games (including a sweep by the Giants last week). They will try to get back to their winning ways tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers, losers of four in a row. It will be the 17th-straight game against an NL West rival, and the bad news is that the D-backs are a mere 9-10 on the season against division teams, hardly the mark of a would-be division winner. By contrast, the Giants are 15-6 within the division.
The weekend's bright spot came in the form of starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, whose one-run performance on Saturday pushed his record to 4-0 on the season and gave the D-backs an 8-1 win. In his sixth start of the season, the 23-year-old worked seven innings, gave up just five hits, and struck out seven Padres.
Also in that game, another D-back youngster grabbed the spotlight. Outfielder A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4, doubling in two runs in the second inning and then hitting a home run in the fourth inning. He finished with three RBI and three runs scored.
And in Sunday's game, rookie shortstop Didi Gregorius returned from the seven-day disabled list (concussion) with his third home run of the season.
Everything else? Nothing to get too excited about. Sunday, pitcher Ian Kennedy kept the game close, entering the sixth inning with the D-backs trailing by only one run. Then, he served up homers to Will Venable and Jedd Gyorko, forcing himself out of the game and on his way to his third loss of the season. The D-backs could do nothing in the final three frames, as they lost 5-1. Kennedy's earned-run average on the season is now an unacceptable 5.19.
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On Friday, the D-backs took a 7-6 loss, notable only for their ninth-inning three-run rally that obviously came up short. Starting pitcher Wade Miley was not his usual self, giving up four runs on nine hits in only five innings. He fell to 2-1 on the season.
Tonight, the D-backs send Trevor Cahill to the mound against the Dodgers. Cahill is 1-3 on the season but does sport a nice 2.84 ERA. In his last start, he pitched into the ninth inning, giving up only four hits and a run to the Giants. For the Dodgers, it will be veteran Chris Capuano (1-3, 9.64), who is supposed to come off the disabled list today.
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.