Arizona (40-42) at Los Angeles (41-40)

Cloudy Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Mon Jul 3, 2006
  • TV: FSPT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks look to continue putting a miserable June behind them and win their fourth in a row when they open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

The Diamondbacks (40-42) had a promising start to last month, winning their first four games, but went on to win just three of their next 23.

Arizona had three losing streaks of at least five games in June. The Diamondbacks, however, are coming off a three-game sweep of AL West Division-leading Oakland.

The Diamondbacks won 3-1 on Sunday and outscored the Athletics 16-7 in the series.

“I think we’re playing pretty good ball right now,” said Brandon Webb, who earned the win Sunday. “The emotions and stuff are up, and the intensity level is high it seems right now, so I’m hoping we’re past it.”

Luis Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and is 7-for-16 (.438) with four doubles and four RBIs during Arizona’s winning streak.

Despite their dreadful June, the fifth-place Diamondbacks are only three games behind first-place San Diego. The Dodgers (41-40) are in fourth place in the division, 1 1/2 games out of first.

Arizona has won five straight at Dodger Stadium, and 11 of its last 13 against Los Angeles overall.

The Dodgers lost to the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Sunday, and have dropped five of their last six games.

Sunday’s shutout was Los Angeles’ first since May 4. The Dodgers have scored nine runs in their last five losses.

Nomar Garciaparra, the NL batting leader at .361, doubled in the ninth Sunday to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 14 games. He is 22-for-56 (.393) with three homers and 11 runs during his streak, and 5-for-12 (.417) against the Diamondbacks this season.

J.D. Drew is 11-for-31 (.355) during an eight-game hitting streak, and is batting .407 (24-for-59) with nine homers and 18 RBIs in his last 15 games against Arizona.

Derek Lowe (6-4, 3.49 ERA) looks to end Arizona’s run at Dodger Stadium by winning his fifth straight start there Monday.

After losing his first two home decisions, the right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA since May 21.

Lowe is coming off his worst outing of the season, though, allowing season highs of nine runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.

“I really don’t know if I could pitch that bad if I told them what was coming,” he said. “For me it was demoralizing because in the last few games I’ve turned things around after a bad first start.”

The 10-year veteran will try to rebound against a team that has given him problems.

Lowe is 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in five career starts against the Diamondbacks. Arizona is batting .347 in those games.

The Diamondbacks will counter with Juan Cruz (3-3, 4.05), who will come off the disabled list to start Monday in his first game in a month.

Cruz pitched seven shutout innings in a 2-1 victory over Atlanta on June 1, but was placed on the DL the followed day with a sore right shoulder.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.95 ERA in his last three starts, and has not allowed a run in his last 13 innings.

“He was a guy we missed,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “He was pitching very, very well since we put him in the rotation. It’ll be good to have him back.”

Cruz is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Cruz Phi vs. D. Lowe Tex
5-6 Record 16-8
4.18 ERA 3.63
88 K 123
47 BB 55
1.34 WHIP 1.27