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| Sports |

Fading Arizona Diamondbacks Lose Fifth-Straight Game

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The Arizona Diamondbacks' horrendous homestand got even worse on Tuesday night as the Cincinnati Reds handed the D-backs' fifth-straight loss. The team with the best record in baseball won 5-2 behind starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who gave up two runs in seven innings to become the majors' leader in wins with 17.

A dominant pitcher and a severely struggling offense proved a bad combination as the D-backs dipped two games below .500 and dropped to 8.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. That's with 32 games left to play in the season. At this point, the D-backs would have to win at least 21 of those for a shot at the postseason. The only silver lining here is that the D-backs still have nine games to play against the Giants down the stretch.

For the D-backs, starting pitcher (and rookie of the year candidate) Wade Miley wasn't bad at all. He gave up three runs on six hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out five. Unfortunately, it was the offense that once again let down the D-backs, as it has so often on this homestand. Two guys who don't start every day -- Ryan Wheeler and Gerardo -- provided all four of the D-backs' hits.

The three-game series with the Reds ends today with a matinee before the Los Angeles Dodgers come into town Thursday for an all-important series that likely will determine whether the D-backs have sort of chance in September. Today's game starts at 12:40 p.m. with rookie Patrick Corbin (5-5, 3.91 earned-run average) pitching against the Reds' Mat Latos (10-4, 3.84). TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.

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