Graves looks to end a personal six-game losing streak as the Reds close out a three-game series with the struggling Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark.
In his first full season as a starter after seven years in the bullpen, Graves is 1-11 in his last 17 starts, with his last win coming on July 1 in a 5-3 victory over the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
Despite having no wins to show for it, Graves has shown signs of straightening out over his last five starts. He has gone at least six innings in each outing, allowing over three runs just once.
Juan Castro had an RBI double for the Reds, who hadn’t won in Phoenix since May 7, 2001.
Arizona has dropped five of its last seven games, leaving the Diamondbacks tied for third place in the NL wild card race, 3 1/2 games behind Philadelphia.
STANDINGS:Reds - 5th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL Central. Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 9 1/2 GB, NL West.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Graves (4-13, 5.18 ERA). In his only career start against Arizona, a 6-5 loss on June 20, Graves allowed three runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings. He didn’t receive a decision. In 19 career games against the Diamondbacks, Graves is 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Elmer Dessens (6-7, 4.94 ERA). Dessens, making his second start against his former team this season, is coming off a 10-6 loss to Atlanta on Saturday. Lasting just four innings, the right-hander allowed five runs and eight hits, but didn’t receive a decision. Dessens, who played for the Reds from 2000 to 2002, allowed three runs and seven hits in his first career start against Cincinnati on June 20. He did not receive a decision in Arizona’s 6-5 win.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Sean Casey, .292 avg. and 62 RBIs; Adam Dunn, 27 HRs, 70 runs; Dunn and Felipe Lopez, 8 SBs. Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .327, 22 HRs, 81 RBIs and 77 runs; Steve Finley, 9 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Diamondbacks, 6-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - The Reds are 33-21 this season when scoring first. … SS Barry Larkin played Wednesday for the first time in six games since Aug. 12, when he aggravated the scar tissue from hernia surgery. … RHP Graves has allowed 28 homers this season, third most in the NL. Diamondbacks - Arizona has been held to under three runs in three of its last four games. .. RHP Curt Schilling had an MRI on his sore left knee Wednesday, revealing a bone bruise. Schilling will be able to make his scheduled start Friday against the Chicago Cubs, trainer Paul Lessard said. … 2B Junior Spivey is 5-for-7 in the series with a double, home run and two runs scored.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 26-35 on the road; Diamondbacks - 36-24 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - INF Brandon Larson (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Russell Branyan (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Adam Dunn (thumb), 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; OF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 60-day DL. Diamondbacks - 1B Mark Grace (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL.