Arizona finished its recent homestand 5-1 to move within two games of Philadelphia and Florida in the wild-card standings.
With ace Randy Johnson pitching well since coming off the disabled list, the Diamondbacks are poised for a September run.
The Diamondbacks’ other ace, Curt Schilling, has pitched well since coming off the disabled list July 12, but doesn’t have much to show for it. The right-hander has just one victory in six starts, and the Diamondbacks have scored only 17 runs in those games, including nine in the lone win.
Schilling has given up more than three runs only once during that span.
“Somebody asked me this morning who needed to get hot for us to be successful the rest of the way,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. “I said, ‘We don’t need somebody to get hot. We need a bunch of guys to get warm.”’
While the Diamondbacks are poised to challenge for the wild card, the Reds are spending another season rebuilding. Cincinnati returns home from a 1-5 trip.
Danny Graves lost his sixth consecutive decision Sunday, despite pitching well for the Reds in a 2-0 loss to San Diego.
“This whole year so far, we just can’t get both the pitching and hitting at the same time,” Graves said. “Obviously, it’s frustrating losing but I know the position players feel a lot worse for us if we pitch well.”
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 11 GB, NL West. Reds - 5th place, 11 GB, NL Central.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Curt Schilling (5-6, 2.81 ERA). The right-hander is 7-7 with a 2.85 ERA against the Reds in his career. Schilling allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings of Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over Montreal.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Paul Wilson (6-9, 5.11 ERA). The right-hander has one victory in his last nine starts. He allowed four runs in a 4-3 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday, giving up eight hits and walking five in 6 1-3 innings. Wilson has never faced Arizona.
SEASON SERIES: Diamondbacks, 3-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - Arizona saw its season-high streak of six errorless games end Sunday. … RHP Schilling has held Reds C Kelly Stinnett hitless in 14 career at-bats. … 3B Shea Hillenbrand is 7-for-18 (.389) lifetime against RHP Wilson. Reds - OF Austin Kearns, on the DL since July 17, will have season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday. He was injured May 21 when he collided with Atlanta’s Ray King on a play at the plate. … SS Barry Larkin is 10-for-18 (.556) in his last five games. … OF Dunn has just two hits in his last 24 at-bats (.083) and hasn’t driven in a run since July 30.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 27-32 on the road; Reds - 27-31 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - 1B Mark Grace (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL. Reds - OF Kearns (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Acevedo (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Dempster (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL.
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