Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks’ recent offensive struggles, they remain tough to beat when either of their top two starting pitchers takes the mound.
One night after ace Brandon Webb recorded his major league-leading 11th win, the Diamondbacks turn to Dan Haren as they continue their four-game road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
Arizona (33-28) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in Friday’s series opener. Webb pitched seven solid innings to bail out a lineup which scored three runs or fewer for the fourth consecutive contest.
The Diamondbacks lead the NL West despite dropping eight of their last 11 games, while scoring 33 total runs.
Haren (6-4, 3.40 ERA) is looking for his second straight win. He allowed four hits in seven innings of a 5-0 victory at Washington on Sunday to avoid a personal third straight loss, and help the Diamondbacks to their last consecutive wins.
“You try to get your two horses up there,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said of Webb and Haren. “We feel good about all five (starters), but obviously you want your innings-eaters up there at the top, your two horses.”
Haren, who averages just over six innings per start, is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh, although the right-hander hasn’t faced the Pirates since 2004, while with St. Louis.
Hudson is hitting .304 on the season and .357 (15-for-42) with three homers and eight RBIs in his last 12 contests.
Sanchez is batting .433 (13-for-30) in his last eight games versus Arizona.
Tom Gorzelanny (4-5, 7.22) takes the ball for the Pirates.The left-hander failed to factor in the decision Monday at St. Louis after allowing four runs in six innings of Pittsburgh’s 5-4 win. He is 1-2 with a 9.68 ERA in his last four starts since winning two in a row.
“The majority of the time you have to let these guys find their rhythm, find their groove,” Pirates manager John Russell told the team’s official Web site. “You might hit some bumps in the road along the way, but eventually they’ll get out.”
While Gorzelanny has been inconsistent this season, he’s 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against Arizona.