Arizona (30-55) at San Francisco (46-39)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 10:15 pm EDT Thu Jul 8, 2004
  • TV: FSAZ, KTVU
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Elmer Dessens didn’t have much luck as a starter earlier this season. The struggling Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping that some time in the bullpen did the right-hander good.

Dessens makes his first start in nearly two month as the Diamondbacks open a four-game series with Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park.

Dessens made his last start on May 11, giving up three earned runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings of the Diamondbacks’ 9-5 win over the New York Mets. He was sent to the bullpen after posting a 1-4 record and 7.56 ERA in seven starts.

However, Dessens has thrived in the bullpen, going 0-1 with a 2.46 ERA and two saves, earning another shot in the rotation.

“We feel that Dessens deserves another shot in the rotation because of the way he pitched out of the ‘pen,” said Arizona manager Al Pedrique, who intends to limit Dessens to about 65 pitches. “He did everything that we asked him to do. We feel like he’s ready.

“He’s been very aggressive out of the bullpen, going after the hitters and trusting his stuff. So we felt it was the right time to find out if he’s the man for that spot.”

Dessens had been working on a curveball coming into this season, but adding it to his repertoire caused him to use his best pitch, the sinker, less often. However, he’s been using the sinker more lately, with promising results.

The Giants could be a tough team for Dessens to face in his return to the rotation, as he is 0-3 with a 7.82 ERA in 11 career appearances, including six starts, against San Francisco—his worst ERA against any team.

He’ll also have Bonds to contend with. Bonds hit his 681st career homer in the Giants’ 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday.

The slugger went 2-for-3 with two intentional walks, giving him 67 for the season—one shy of the major league record he set in 2002.

Pedro Feliz knocked in three runs for San Francisco, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

The Diamondbacks were pounded 11-0 Wednesday by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks managed just one hit by Shea Hillenbrand in the fifth inning. Arizona, which was also one-hit on June 25 by Detroit, has lost 16 of 18 overall and nine in a row on the road—one shy of the team record, set last season.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Dessens NYM vs. D. Hermanson Cin
2-6 Record 6-9
4.46 ERA 4.53
73 K 102
31 BB 46
1.47 WHIP 1.36