D-backs look to stay hot in Miami, win fourth straight
MAY 17, 2013 11:21p ET
Arizona looks to build on one of its best offensive performances of the year and extend light-hitting Miami's losing streak to seven on Saturday.
The Diamondbacks (24-18) tied a season high with three home runs in a 9-2 victory over the marlins on Friday night. Their nine runs and 16 hits were both one shy of a season high.
"I just hope we can do this more often," manager Kirk Gibson said. "It would sure help our pitching staff."
Gibson's team had only three homers and 16 runs over the previous seven games.
The Diamondbacks have had no such problems in Miami lately. They've won seven of eight there while averaging 7.4 runs and batting .317 with 10 homers and 20 doubles.
Paul Goldschmidt will look to stay hot and take advantage of a Marlins staff that has let opponents hit .340 during a six-game losing streak. Coming off a three-game set against the Braves in which he batted .545 with five extra-base hits, Goldschmidt homered in each of his first two at-bats Friday and finished 4 for 5 with four RBIs.
"Watch the kid, watch the way he stays with his approach -- he's dangerous," Gibson said of Goldschmidt, who has six homers and 13 RBIs in his last four road games.
Third baseman Eric Chavez also enters Saturday on a tear. He tallied four hits Friday, including his first home run since April 29, and is batting .486 in May with nine RBIs in 11 games.
It seems no one is swinging a hot bat for Miami (11-31). The Marlins have combined for 11 runs while batting .219 during their six-game skid, which matches a season worst.
With key hitters Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Donovan Solano, Casey Kotchman and Chris Valaika all sidelined, the Marlins are dependent on production from players such as Justin Ruggiano, who is 3 for 29 with 10 strikeouts over the past week.
Hoping to take advantage of Miami's struggles is Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 5.63 ERA), who is looking to avoid going a career-high 10th straight start without a victory.
The right-hander deserved to win last Sunday following his best start of the season, shutting out Philadelphia for eight innings, but a blown save resulted in a no-decision as Arizona went on to lose 4-2 in 10 innings. He had surrendered three-plus runs in each of his prior seven starts.
"The disappointment is us not getting a win," said McCarthy, who hasn't won since Aug. 31. "I really don't care if I don't get a win. It's an inconsequential stat."
Miami's Tom Koehler (0-1, 3.31) will oppose McCarthy in search of his first major league win, having lost his only two previous starts.
The right-hander was used out of the bullpen after being called up from Triple-A New Orleans on April 19, throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings over his first four appearances. In his last three games, however, he has given up six runs and 10 hits over nine innings while striking out just two.
His first start of 2013 came Sunday, and he contended with base runners in every inning but gave up just two runs in five innings of a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers.
"I don't feel much different than if I would have been starting consistently," Koehler said. "So I guess that's a good sign, and now I can build off it."
Koehler threw a career-high 79 pitches in that game, so it seems unlikely he'll provide much rest for a Marlins bullpen that has gone at least three innings in seven straight games. Three Miami relievers combined to throw six innings Friday.