The NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t lost a series in three weeks, and they’re going to try and keep it that way.
The Diamondbacks look to move 14 games over .500 for the first time this season and win their sixth straight series for the first time in more than seven years as they conclude their three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
After losing Tuesday’s series opener 8-3, Arizona (64-51) defeated the Pirates 10-6 on Wednesday. The first-place Diamondbacks have won 14 of their last 17 games, and moved two games ahead of second-place San Diego in the division.
Arizona has not lost a series since dropping three of four to NL Central-leading Milwaukee from July 16-19. A win in Thursday’s series final would give the Diamondbacks six straight series wins—the first time they would have accomplished that since April 25-May 14, 2000. The franchise record is nine established from Sept. 3-Oct. 3, 1999.
Arizona is also looking to move 14 games over .500 for the first time since finishing the 2002 season atop the NL West with a 98-64 record.
Catcher Chris Snyder drove in four runs, two on a homer, and has two home runs and nine RBIs in five games this month.
“I feel good right now,” said Snyder, who is batting .368 (14-for-38) in his last 13 games. “Everybody has his ups and downs. When you’re up, you try to hold on to it as long as you can, and when you’re down, you try to get out of it as quick as you can. I’m just trying to stay as even-keeled as possible.”
Doug Davis (8-10, 3.88 ERA) looks to build off his best start of the season and win his fourth straight decision when he takes the ball.
Davis was sharp against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, allowing three hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win. He is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break, with Arizona winning each of those games.
“Executing pitches right now is the secret to my success,” he told the team’s official Web site.
The Diamondbacks have also won the last five times Davis has pitched at home, and nine of 11 of the left-hander’s starts at Chase Field.
Davis was roughed up in his only start of the season against Pittsburgh, though, yielding seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 11-5 loss at PNC Park on May 18. He is 5-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 17 career starts against the Pirates, and this will be his first outing against them at Chase.
Pittsburgh (45-65) has lost 17 of 22 games since the All-Star break.
Ian Snell (7-10, 3.91) is also mired in a horrible slump since the break, and he’ll once again try to break out of his funk.
Snell was 7-5 with a 2.93 ERA in his first 17 starts, but things quickly took a turn for the worse. Snell has lost all five of his starts since the midsummer classic, posting a 8.31 ERA in those games. He has allowed seven home runs in 26 innings over his last five starts after yielding nine homers before the break.
“I really don’t have anything to say,” Snell said after allowing six runs and 10 hits in five innings of Friday’s 13-4 loss to Cincinnati. “It’s disgraceful, the way I’ve pitched the second half. I have no one to blame but myself. The first half was so great, I don’t know how to explain it. I’m just bad right now.”
The right-hander hopes to get back on track against the Diamondbacks, whom he defeated on May 18. Snell has won both of his career starts against Arizona, allowing four runs in 12 2-3 innings.
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored on Wednesday, and is batting .400 (10-for-25) in six games this month. Sanchez is hitting .464 (13-for-28) with a homer and four doubles lifetime against Davis.