After helping the Arizona Diamondbacks end a nine-game losing streak in his last start, Randy Johnson will take the mound with his team looking to win its second in a row in the opener of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
Johnson is coming off a stellar outing, yielding five hits and one walk while striking out 14 in 8 1-3 innings as the Diamondbacks beat the New York Mets 2-0 on Sunday. Arizona ended what was just its third-longest losing streak in a dismal season.
Johnson will now be trying to pitch the Diamondbacks to their second straight win. The ace left-hander has been the team’s only reliable starter of late, as Arizona starting pitchers have gone 1-10 in August.
Shea Hillenbrand hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run fifth inning Wednesday, leading the Diamondbacks to a 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Scott Hairston also homered for the Diamondbacks for his second homer in three games.
Arizona placed C Koyie Hill on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, a day after he broke his right ankle in a collision while blocking the plate.
Hill was injured during the fourth inning of Pittsburgh’s 7-1 victory when Pirates third baseman Ty Wigginton lowered his shoulder and bowled him over. Hill finished the inning, but was replaced before the top of the fifth.
Hill had X-rays after the game that revealed the injury. While the team is awaiting the results of a CT scan to determine whether there was ligament damage that would require surgery, Hill said he expects to miss the remainder of the season.
Danny Graves, victimized for all but one run in St. Louis’ six-run eighth inning the previous night, needed a three-run cushion to finish off the NL Central-leading Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday.
Cincinnati pitchers had blown six of their previous 11 save opportunities.
The Reds are 10-24 in their last 34 road games.
Cincinnati outfielder Ryan Freel sat out Wednesday to rest a sore right knee. He leads the team with 23 stolen bases.
“He’s fine, but after seeing him run, I decided today was a good day to rest him because he’ll get two days,” Reds manager Dave Miley said.