Opponents have been making themselves at home at Arizona’s Chase Field all season.
The Milwaukee Brewers have been doing that for years, but are encountering some resistance this weekend.
The Diamondbacks try to build on an encouraging win and take a rare series from the Brewers in the desert in Sunday’s finale.
Arizona (21-26) started the season in impressive fashion by sweeping a home series from San Francisco, but has gone just 6-15 at Chase Field since then while losing all six series. The Diamondbacks mustered only five hits in Friday’s 7-1 series-opening loss, but bounced back to beat the Brewers 8-5 on Saturday.
“We’ve been struggling and we’re just trying to turn it around,” said Wade Miley, Saturday’s winning pitcher.
The victory marked just the sixth for the Diamondbacks in their last 20 home meetings with Milwaukee (19-27), and another Sunday would give them their first series win over the Brewers in Phoenix since July 2006. The Diamondbacks should feel confident after roughing up Milwaukee ace Zack Greinke for seven runs in 2 1-3 innings Saturday.
Leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra matched a career best with four hits as the top four hitters in Arizona’s lineup combined to go 10 for 18.
Cleanup hitter Jason Kubel, who supplied the Diamondbacks’ only offense Friday with a solo homer, singled twice Saturday to improve to 4 for 7 in the series. Kubel is batting .365 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs in 21 career games against the Brewers, his highest average against any team he has faced more than six times.
Kubel, though, has never faced probable Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (2-4, 6.02 ERA), owner of the fifth-worst ERA among major league qualifiers.
After surrendering seven runs over a season-low four innings in a loss at Houston on Mary 16, Wolf allowed three runs - all in the first inning - five hits and three walks in a season-high seven innings against San Francisco on Monday at Miller Park, although the Brewers went on to lose 4-3 in 14 innings.
Wolf’s bounce-back performance shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise considering his 3.60 ERA at home. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 9.78 ERA in four road starts in 2012, but he’s 7-2 with a 3.43 ERA in nine career starts at Arizona.
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has also typically felt right at home at Chase Field, entering Saturday’s game batting .393 with four home runs and 10 RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak there. He hit his team-leading 13th homer in the series opener, but went 0 for 5 and drove in a run on a groundout Saturday.
Cleanup hitter Jonathan Lucroy was able to continue his hot hitting for Milwaukee, though, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. He is 7 for 17 with three doubles during a four-game hitting streak, and is batting .393 with eight doubles and 22 RBIs in 23 games in May, raising his average 70 points to .348.
He’ll look to rudely greet Arizona’s Daniel Hudson (1-1, 6.00), who is slated to come off the disabled list and make his first start in 5 1/2 weeks.
Sidelined by a right shoulder impingement, Hudson hasn’t pitched since yielding two runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh on April 18. The injury first flared up five days earlier, when the right-hander gave up six runs and 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings at Colorado.
Hudson allowed six runs and four hits over four innings in his only start against the Brewers last season, a July 4 contest that the Diamondbacks eventually won 8-6.