Following Sunday's debacle against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the best things that could have happened to the Arizona Diamondbacks occurred on Monday night: They got the heck out of this town and they started Dan Haren against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night.
The usual went down in Haren's start. He dominated with sickening stuff, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced while only allowing five base runners in his seven innings of one-run, four-hit, nine-strikeout ball.
But something different also happened in Dan the Man's money performance: He connected on his first career home run. Following Miguel Montero's 422-foot shot, Haren added the final touch on a dominant 6-2 victory with a 386-foot shot of his own to the left-center bleachers. The right hander, who upped his record to 7-5, lowered his ERA to 2.19.
Arizona finally ended its embarrassing five-game losing streak, thanks to kickass offensive efforts by Montero (three-for-four, two RBI, and a run scored), Justin Upton (two hits), Mark Reynolds (three knocks and a pair of RBI), and Haren (who also added a double to deep left) against struggling Reds' starter Bronson Arroyo (8-7).
And guess what? The D-Backs didn't commit an error in this one. It's about time.
Arizona ends the month of June with a 9-17 record. Not good. They'll hope for a better July when the same two teams square off at 4:10 this afternoon in Cincy, with the D-Backs' Jon Garland (4-7, 5.04 ERA) and the Reds' Johnny Cueto (7-4, 2.86 ERA) scheduled to take the hill. TV: FSN-AZ. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. For more info, see www.dbacks.com.