The Arizona Diamondbacks' 3-3 record on its recently completed road trip is a smashing success, considering the team's generally poor play this year and the competition (two likely playoff teams, the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals). The D-Backs ended the trip Thursday afternoon in St. Louis with a nice 4-2 win, on the strength of rookie starting pitcher Barry Enright's solid major-league debut and Chris Young's 15th homer of the year.
Enright, the D-Backs' second-round draft pick in 2007, had been at the Double-A minor-league level this season before getting called up for Thursday's start. Against the Cards, he went five innings, giving up only one run on four hits. He walked four batters, but he also struck out five. Apparently, the D-Backs were so pleased with his performance that he will get another start Tuesday against the Cubs at Chase Field. A good showing Tuesday, and Enright may put Dontrelle Willis out of a job.
Young's 15th homer, a two-run shot, came in the top of fifth inning and gave the D-Backs at 3-1 lead. The resurgent Young now has a team-leading 52 runs batted in on the season and is looking like he may be the team's lone representative on the National League All-Star team.
Pitcher Juan Gutierrez did his very best to blow the game for Enright by giving up yet another run in his 1.1 innings of relief. Equally terrible reliever Chad Qualls managed to pitch one inning without giving up a run, hit, or walk. And Aaron Heilman, quite possibly the only D-Back reliever who isn't an utter trainwreck, shut down the Cards in the ninth for his third save of the season.
The D-Backs have the day off today before opening a three-game series Friday against the off-and-on Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. The Dodgers, behind the underperforming Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, have won three straight and are in second place behind the surprising San Diego Padres. Friday night's pitching match-up will be the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda against Edwin Jackson, who threw a 149-pitch no-hitter last Friday against the Rays.