After playing a five-hour, six-minute marathon in their series opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks both look to get strong performances from their starting pitchers when the teams continue their three-game set on Saturday at Chase Field.
The bullpens of the Dodgers (66-62) and Diamondbacks (63-65) are worn after the teams played a 15-inning game on Friday night. It ended when Orlando Hudson hit a two-run homer with two outs to lift Arizona to a 9-7 victory.
The Dodgers used six relievers for 9 2-3 innings and the Diamondbacks went to the bullpen seven times for 10 2-3 innings. Los Angeles lost its fourth straight, but maintained a one-game lead over San Diego in the NL West, while Arizona ended a four-game losing streak and pulled within three games of the first-place Dodgers.
Los Angeles will look to right-hander Derek Lowe (11-8, 3.84 ERA) to continue his recent run of success. Lowe is 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA over his last five starts, including a 5-2 victory at San Francisco on Sunday when he allowed two runs and five hits over eight-plus innings.
“I’ve always loved the end of the year when every game and every pitch matters,” Lowe said. “If anything I focus more. If I could keep that same focus and intensity over 34 starts instead of 10, I’d have better years.”
Lowe is 1-4 with a 6.48 ERA in seven career starts against Arizona, including a 1-1 mark and 6.75 ERA in two outings this year.
The Diamondbacks will counter with right-hander Miguel Batista (10-5, 4.52), who is 4-0 with a 3.89 ERA over his last 11 starts, with Arizona winning nine of those appearances. He allowed one run and six hits while walking six and striking out five in seven innings Sunday, but didn’t receive a decision in the Diamondbacks’ 2-1 loss at San Diego.
Batista is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles this year, including a six-hitter in an 8-0 victory on July 19. He is 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 12 home starts this season.
Dodgers center fielder Kenny Lofton is hitting .389 (14-for-36) with a homer and four RBIs against Batista.
The Drew brothers—Los Angeles outfielder J.D. and Arizona rookie shortstop Stephen—continue to perform well as opponents. J.D. Drew went 3-for-7 with two homers and four RBIs Friday to improve to 8-for-20 with seven RBIs in five games against his brother, while Stephen Drew was 3-for-7 with an RBI to improve to 10-for-23 with two RBIs in those meetings.
Arizona has won four of those five contests.
On Saturday, Diamondbacks shortstop Craig Counsell might make his first start since July 14 after being on the disabled list with a right rib fracture. Counsell, who has played in the last two games as a reserve, doesn’t figure to take the starting job away from Stephen Drew.
The Diamondbacks are 6-1 at Chase Field against the Dodgers this year, and lead 7-6 in the season series.