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Arizona Diamondbacks Split Series With Cincinnati Reds, Take On Pittsburgh Pirates This Weekend

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nly two weeks remain in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 2010 season, and the games can't seem to fly by fast enough. While the team is heading toward one of their worst finishes (having lost seven of the last 10), they've managed to salvage a few victories here and there.


That includes taking two from the streaking Cincinnati Reds during their most recent series. The C-Town squad's fate is almost the exact opposite of the Snakes. The Reds have been cruising toward the postseason atop the National League's Central Division, even after getting tripped up by the boys in Sedona red.

The four-game series started out on Monday with 7-2 hammering by the Reds at Great American Ballpark. Although Ryan Church and Miguel Montero fired off back-to-back homers to get our hometown zeroes heroes on the board, Cinci's sluggers took over and started blasting out run after run to bury the Diamondbacks.

Jay Bruce produced a pair of jacks, and Orlando Cabrera, Joey Votto, and Drew Stubbs each contributed a homer as the game essentially became batting practice for 'Natti. Suffice it to say, Arizona's Barry Enright had an early evening and was sent to the clubhouse after only three innings.

Daniel Hudson had a far better outing than his teammate when he took the hill on Tuesday during the D-Backs 3-1 win. The starting pitcher mowed 'em down in eight scoreless innings, striking out just as many batters and encountering only four hits. He shares the hero-of-the-night award with Justin Upton, who's dynamic outfield catch denied the Reds a late-game comeback.

Here's the setup: Mark Reynolds' RBI single in the fourth and Tony Abreu's double in the fifth put Arizona up 3-0. C-Town was scoreless until Juan Gutierrez not only allowed a run in ninth but loaded the bases to boot. Ramon Hernandez walloped the ball deep, but thankfully J-Up was there to nab it.

Cincinnati's Jay Bruce returned the favor on Wednesday with a victorious game-ending catch of his own. The Reds had scored early and often in this one, leading 5-0 by the second inning. The D-Backs got back into the swing of things, however, when Miguel Montero, Kelly Johnson, and Brandon Allen came through with multiple RBIs in the third and seventh innings to bring their team two within one run of tying.

Then it became a back-and-forth affair with C-Town adding another run in the eighth, followed by Abreu's diving into home after a Chris Young ground-out in the ninth that sent Johnson to second and made it 5-7. Adam LaRoche's long drive was mere inches from making it out of the park when Bruce made his fateful grab.

The Snakes salvaged the series by pulling out another 3-1 victory in yesterday's game, however. Rodrigo Lopez had the ball for Arizona and served up seven solid innings. He allowed a homer from Stubbs in the first, but settled down and went scoreless for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez walked Montero and Church in the fifth and then gave Gerardo Parra the fuel for an RBI single. Stephen Drew and Johnson also knocked in back-to-back runs later in the inning.

Pittsburgh is the team's next destination in this weekend's series. Unlike the Reds, the Pirates (48-98) aren't anywhere close to playoff contention. In fact, they're gonna be spending of the season dwelling in the cellar (59-98) like the Diamondbacks. This study in futility starts tonight at PNC Park when Ian Kennedy (9-9, 3.87 ERA) faces Brian Burres (3-3, 5.22). While the team hasn't named who's pitching against Zach Duke (7-14, 5.78), Saturday's game features Barry Enright (6-4. 3.39) vs. James McDonald (3-4, 3.49). First pitch tonight is at 4:05 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.


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