Although they’re battling for first place in the tight NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t look much like a playoff-caliber team their last time out.
The Diamondbacks try to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Baltimore Orioles when they continue their three-game set on Saturday night.
Arizona (42-32) lost 7-1 on Friday, falling into third place in the NL West. The Diamondbacks are one-half game back of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers and one percentage point behind second-place San Diego.
Arizona used late rallies to sweep Baltimore (32-41) in a three-game series last weekend at Camden Yards, but Friday’s series opener was a debacle.
The Diamondbacks committed three errors in the second inning leading to four runs, and had just four hits, after pounding out 31 in their two previous games. They have committed 55 errors to tie Cincinnati for the second-most in the NL.
“So try to forget about it and come back out tomorrow,” said third baseman Chad Tracy, who made two errors.
Livan Hernandez (5-5, 4.50 ERA) looks to put an end to his string of poor outings, as he once again seeks his first win of June when he takes the mound on Saturday.
After going 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA in his six May starts, Hernandez is 0-3 with a 7.43 ERA in four starts this month. He yielded six runs and a season-high 12 hits in six innings of a 10-2 defeat to Tampa Bay on Monday, and has been tagged for 13 runs in 10 innings in losing his last two.
“I have two tough games back-to-back,” Hernandez said. “Baseball is like that. It’s happened to me before. You continue working, and you’ve got to know how to get out of it when you’re struggling.”
He’ll try look for another strong outing against the Orioles, whom he beat in both of his starts last season, giving up four runs in 13 innings in those games.
Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.21 ERA in four starts lifetime against Baltimore.
The Orioles have won three straight following a season-high nine-game losing streak that included the firing of manager Sam Perlozzo. With Friday’s win, they moved ahead of last-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.
“I think they’re starting to weather the storm a little bit better, and I think they’re starting to feel pretty good about themselves,” said Dave Trembley, who improved to 3-1 as interim manager. “That’s one of the things that we’re trying to do is get them to feel good about themselves, let them know they’re major league baseball players. There’s no reason in the world why they can’t start playing up to their capabilities.”
Leadoff hitter Brian Roberts homered, tripled and had three RBIs on Friday, and is batting .400 (12-for-30) in his last seven games.
Chris Gomez went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run in his first start at shortstop, replacing four-time All-Star Miguel Tejada, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left wrist. Tejada’s consecutive games streak ended at 1,152, the fifth-longest in major league history.
Rookie Brian Burres (3-2, 2.94) tries to build off a solid effort in his first career start against Arizona when he takes the ball on Saturday. He gave up three runs and five hits in a career-high seven innings and didn’t get a decision in a 6-4 defeat to the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
The left-hander struck out a career-high nine, and after allowing six of the first 11 batters to reach, Burres retired 15 straight.