The Arizona Diamondbacks finished May as one of the hottest teams in the majors. June hasn’t started out too bad, either.
The surging Diamondbacks seek their 11th win in 12 games Wednesday night when they continue a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field.
Arizona (35-24) closed May with seven straight wins and had won a season-high eight in a row before the streak ended Saturday with a loss to the NL East-leading New York Mets.
The Diamondbacks rebounded to beat the Mets on Sunday, and opened a six-game homestand Tuesday with a 4-3 victory over San Francisco on a 10th-inning solo homer by Chris Young.
Young, who was 0-for-4 with a strikeout before his final at-bat, connected for his seventh homer and first since May 11.
“I didn’t even remember what the pitch was. That was my first time getting a walkoff,” Young said. “I had been struggling tonight. A lot of coaches and guys were still behind my back, saying ‘just keep grinding.”’
Red-hot Conor Jackson knocked in a pair of runs for Arizona, which remained percentage points behind first-place San Diego.
Jackson had his eighth multihit game since May 19. He is 21-for-53 (.396) with 11 RBIs during that span, raising his average from .222 to .285.
Outstanding starting pitching has been the main catalyst to the Diamondbacks’ surge.
Including Randy Johnson’s strong six-inning performance Tuesday, Arizona starters have allowed only 15 earned runs in the past 11 games, spanning 76 2-3 innings for a 1.76 ERA.
Brandon Webb (5-3, 3.39 ERA) looks to continue that run of strong pitching.
He won his second straight start with an outstanding performance Friday in a 5-1 victory over the Mets, allowing an unearned run and four hits over eight innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The right-hander, who has pitched at least six innings in 11 consecutive starts, is 7-5 with a 3.32 ERA in 16 career games against the Giants (27-30).
San Francisco, which has lost eight of 11 overall, is 0-4 this season at Chase Field—all one-run defeats.
The Giants could be without Barry Bonds for the second consecutive game. Bonds was held out of Tuesday’s lineup because of shin splints that have been a recurring problem.
“I’m all right. I feel better,” Bonds said following the loss.
Manager Bruce Bochy considered using Bonds to pinch hit in the ninth but instead went with Eliezer Alfonzo.
When asked whether he will play Wednesday, Bonds said, “I don’t know.”
The Giants don’t expect their cleanup hitter will go on the disabled list, which would disrupt his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home run record of 755. Bonds is 10 homers from breaking Aaron’s mark.
Matt Morris (6-2, 2.66) turned in another impressive performance Friday as San Francisco coasted to a 13-0 rout of Philadelphia, allowing only a single in six innings with three walks and three strikeouts. The veteran right-hander has conceded only 10 earned runs in his past six starts, covering 42 innings (2.14 ERA).
“He’s been a stopper when we need somebody to pitch well,” Bochy said of Morris, who is 5-2 after his team loses. “He’s pitching with a lot of confidence.”
Morris’ worst start of the season, though, was a 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on April 29, when he was reached for five runs and 12 hits through seven innings. He is 4-4 with a 3.90 ERA in nine career starts against Arizona.