A little tinkering with his delivery helped Casey Fossum earn his first win in a month and a half.
The struggling left-hander hopes to build on the victory when he returns to the mound for the major league-worst Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Fossum, who has been a major disappointment for the Diamondbacks after being acquired in the offseason deal that sent right-hander Curt Schilling to Boston, had lost six straight decisions over eight starts since July 1 before beating the Pirates 6-3 on Wednesday.
Fossum toyed with shortening his stride by more than a foot during a between-start bullpen session and unveiled the new delivery against Pittsburgh. Something must have clicked as he allowed three runs and seven hits over seven solid innings, striking out five and walking two.
“The first two or three innings, I was getting used to it,” Fossum said. “Then in the fourth, I think with (Jason) Kendall up, I cut it loose.”
Fossum retired eight straight hitters after Kendall’s two-out single in the fourth and 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
“Even early in the game it didn’t look like he was throwing hard, but he made some pitches well,” Arizona manager Al Pedrique said.
The Diamondbacks lost the decisive game of their weekend series with Cincinnati 11-1 on Sunday, suffering their 13th defeat in 16 games.
Rookie Jason Bay went 4-for-4 with a homer Sunday, but the Pirates were unable to avert their fourth straight loss to the major league-leading St. Louis Cardinals, suffering an 11-4 defeat. Pittsburgh took the series opener from St. Louis on Thursday for its fifth victory in six games, but was outscored 31-17 over the final four games.
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