Cincinnati (33-52) at Arizona (42-45)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Fri Jul 8, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks are going to need their younger starters to help pick up the slack.

Brad Halsey gets the start for the Diamondbacks the day after another pitcher was lost when they begin a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Halsey, Brandon Webb and Javier Vazquez are the three starters left from Arizona’s opening day rotation. Veteran Russ Ortiz has been sidelined since June 15 with a strained right rib cage muscle and 32-year-old Shawn Estes was placed on the disabled list Thursday with a foot injury suffered while running the bases during Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to St. Louis.

“Everybody goes through injuries,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “We just have to get through it.”

The 24-year-old Halsey is seeking to win consecutive outings for the first time this season after halting a personal five-game skid Sunday by giving up three runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 10-3 win at the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had been 0-5 with a 7.86 ERA since his previous win at the New York Mets on May 31.

“Obviously it was a little bit of a battle for me tonight,” Halsey said. “But I kept grinding it out. It’s a great feeling to get back into the win column.”

The left-hander is facing Cincinnati for the first time. Halsey is 2-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight home appearances this season, including seven starts.

Arizona is hoping to battle through the injuries and remain in contention in the mediocre NL West Division despite being below .500. The Diamondbacks trail first-place San Diego by 4 1/2 games after ending a six-game home losing streak Thursday with a 2-1 win over St. Louis on Luis Gonzalez’s solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Cincinnati’s Ramon Ortiz is 3-3 with an 8.00 ERA over his last seven starts. Ortiz, who has never faced Arizona, is just 1-4 with a 6.51 ERA over six road starts.

The veteran right-hander has received plenty of support—Cincinnati has scored six runs or more in half of his 14 starts. Ortiz was the beneficiary of one of those outbursts last Saturday when he yielded six runs—five earned— and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 11-6 win over Houston.

The Reds fell for the ninth time in 12 games with a 5-1 loss at San Francisco on Thursday to settle for a split of a four-game series. Wily Mo Pena was hitless over nine at-bats in the final two games of the series after going 5-for-10 in the first two.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Ortiz Tor vs. B. Halsey NYY
9-11 Record 8-12
5.36 ERA 4.61
96 K 82
51 BB 39
1.50 WHIP 1.44