The Arizona Diamondbacks’ recently hot offense sputtered most of Sunday before pulling through for an extra-inning victory.
Perhaps facing Bronson Arroyo - against whom a couple Arizona hitters have enjoyed success - could help reignite the lineup again as the Diamondbacks begin a pivotal four-game road series versus the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
Arizona (64-58) has won five of six and 8 of 11, but time is running out on its postseason bid - the team trails Cincinnati (70-54) by five games for the NL’s second wild-card spot.
The Diamondbacks are hitting .284 and averaging 5.7 runs with 40 extra-base hits over their last 11 games. However, they were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position Sunday before Adam Eaton drove in two runs with a bloop double - one of his career-high four hits - in the top of the 16th at Pittsburgh, leading to a 4-2 victory, a franchise-record 13th in extra innings this season.
“As long as you want to go, we’ll go with you and stay in a dogfight,” Eaton said. “We’ll play as long as we need to play.”
Arroyo (11-9, 3.35 ERA) is 5-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 14 games versus Arizona. Aaron Hill and Martin Prado are a combined 13 for 31 (.419) off him with three doubles and three home runs.
But the right-hander been strong since allowing a season high-matching seven runs in 3 2-3 innings of a 13-3 loss to St. Louis on Aug. 2, limiting opponents to one run over 14 innings in back-to-back wins.
“It’s unbelievable the way he pitches,” teammate Todd Frazier said after Arroyo struck out seven during seven innings of two-hit ball in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. “I just can’t understand how he does it and everybody’s off balance and I know I’m going to get ground balls so I’m ready all the time and he starts striking guys out.”
Arizona’s 36th come-from-behind win - second-most in the majors - on Sunday let it keep pace with Cincinnati, which beat Milwaukee 9-1 behind 10 singles and a strong eight innings from Homer Bailey. The Reds have won nine of 12 and are hitting .326 (15 for 46) with runners in scoring position over the last six, getting 13 singles and two doubles.
“Main thing, we had a pretty good road trip, 5-2,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We will be happy with what we got.”
The Diamondbacks won two of three at home from Cincinnati in June, though Randall Delgado (4-3, 3.52) took the lone loss. He gave up four runs - three earned - and six hits over five innings in a 4-2 defeat in the finale. Shin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips both homered off the right-hander.
Delgado was again troubled by the long ball on Tuesday, with all three runs against him over seven innings versus Baltimore coming on two homers in Arizona’s eventual 4-3, 11-inning win.
The teams have split the last 14 meetings in Cincinnati.