Not so long ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks were thinking about a playoff spot. All of a sudden, they’re facing the prospect of another losing season.
The Diamondbacks look to pull closer to .500 when they continue their three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks (68-75) were just one-half game out of first place in the NL West after defeating San Francisco on Aug. 9, but have gone just 10-20 since then to effectively fall out of contention for a playoff spot.
The Diamondbacks must win 13 more games to avoid their third straight losing season, the worst stretch in the team’s nine-year history. Arizona posted five consecutive winning records from 1999-2003, including beating the New York Yankees to win the 2001 World Series.
The Nationals (62-82) ended a four-game losing streak and won for just the second time in 13 road games. Jose Vidro had four RBIs and walked with the bases loaded in the ninth innings to give the Nationals their 14th win in their last 16 games against Arizona dating to the 2004 season.
“It was a good win for us,” manager Frank Robinson said. “We need those wins. We have to finish off the season very respectable.”
Alfonso Soriano, who has 45 home runs, remained one stolen base shy of becoming the fourth player in major league history with 40 homers and 40 steals in a season. However, he did record his major league-high 20th outfield assist.
Jason Bergmann (0-1 6.66 ERA) will make his 25th overall appearance and sixth start of the season on Tuesday for Washington. He gave up five runs in 3 2-3 innings of the Nationals’ 10-5 loss at Colorado on Thursday, but did not receive a decision.
The right-hander made his only career start against Arizona in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 2, allowing three runs in seven innings of the Nationals’ 4-3 win without receiving a decision.
Arizona will counter with Miguel Batista (10-6, 4.44), who allowed five runs in six innings of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He had been 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his previous five starts and 4-0 with a 3.63 ERA in his previous 13.
Thursday’s defeat snapped a string of four straight starts without a decision.
“I haven’t been fortunate enough to win a game in the last two months almost,” Batista said. “I can’t afford to give up that many runs. I missed my location quite a few times today.”
Batista is 1-0 with a 3.62 ERA in nine career appearances, including four starts, against the Nationals. He gave up one run in seven innings in Arizona’s 11-inning, 7-6 loss in the first game of the Sept. 2 doubleheader.