St. Louis (74-64) at Arizona (65-74)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Thu Sep 7, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Arizona Diamondbacks won’t have much time to think about being the first team in nearly 2 1/2 years to have a no-hitter thrown against them. Instead, they need to focus on a team they’ve struggled against recently.

Arizona (65-74) meets the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals in the start of a four-game series at Chase Field on Thursday.

The Diamondbacks are just 4-14 in their last 18 meetings with the Cardinals (74-64), including a 1-8 record in Phoenix, and have been outscored 109-55 overall.

Florida Marlins rookie Anibal Sanchez, making just his 13th start, no-hit Arizona Wednesday, handing the Diamondbacks a 2-0 loss.

The Diamondbacks were the first team to be no-hit since Randy Johnson threw a perfect game for Arizona against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.

“Obviously it wasn’t meant to be tonight, and he threw a good game, but I’ll tell you what, I’ve never been on the other side of a no-hitter, and it’s embarrassing. It really is,” said Eric Byrnes, who went 0-for-4 and made the final out of the game.

“I know he went out there and threw a great game, you know all the credit to him, but being on the other side, I never want to be on the other side of one of those again. It’s not fun,” Byrnes added.

The loss was Arizona’s 13th in 16 games.

To try and regroup, Miguel Batista (10-5, 4.34 ERA) looks to match his career high for wins in a season for Arizona. The right-hander went 11-8 for the Diamondbacks in 2001.

After losing three consecutive starts in June, Batista has gone 4-0, including two complete games, with a 3.63 ERA over his last 13 starts. He has not received a decision in four straight starts.

Batista limited Washington to one run and five hits over seven innings in a 7-6, 11-inning loss on Saturday. He struck out five and walked three.

“He threw the ball extremely well—certainly good enough to win a game and should have won a game,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said.

The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.85 ERA in 19 career appearances—including eight starts—against the Cardinals.

St. Louis has struggled on the road recently, losing 15 of their last 20, including two of three to Washington following a 7-6 loss on Wednesday. Jason Isringhausen gave up a two-run single to Jose Vidro in the bottom of the ninth for his 10th blown save.

The Cardinals, though, maintained a six-game lead in the NL Central over Cincinnati after the Reds lost 3-2 to the Giants. St. Louis’ magic number to clinch the division for the sixth time in seven seasons is 18.

Jeff Weaver (2-4, 5.34) looks for his first win in a month for St. Louis. Since pitching six strong innings in a 13-1 victory over Cincinnati on Aug. 7, the right-hander has gone 0-2 with a 4.06 ERA in his last five starts.

Weaver, acquired from the Los Angeles Angels on July 5, lost 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Besides the lone run of the game, Weaver gave up five hits over seven innings with a walk and four strikeouts.

“I don’t know how he could have pitched much better,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “He pitched outstanding.”

Weaver has allowed four or more runs in five of his 10 starts for the Cardinals and has lasted more than six innings in just four of those outings.

He is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in seven career starts versus the Diamondbacks.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Weaver LAD vs. M. Batista Col
8-14 Record 11-8
5.76 ERA 4.58
107 K 110
47 BB 84
1.51 WHIP 1.53


Thursday, Sep 7