Losers of five of six, D-backs look to get back on track as they visit similarly struggling Dodgers.
By JACK MAGRUDERFS Arizona
Who says is never rains in Southern California? The D-backs played in a light drizzle for several innings in San Diego on Sunday and awoke to fairly heavy rains in Los Angeles on Monday morning.
The D-backs have lost five of six, all in the NL West, and after a nice offensive game Saturday, they struggled to adjust to the Padres’ Edinson Volquez, who used his off-speed stuff effectively Sunday.
Meanwhile, it continues to rain all over the
Dodgers. In the three weeks since the D-backs shut them out twice while taking two out of three games at Chase Field from April 12-14, the Dodgers have activated and then lost shortstop Hanley Ramirez to a hamstring injury and left-hander Ted Lilly to a rib injury. Ramirez played four games; Lilly made two starts.
Pitching matchups: Monday -- RHP Trevor Cahill (1-3, 2.84) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 9.64). Tuesday -- RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-4, 7.22 vs. RHP Josh Beckett (0-4, 5.24). Wednesday -- LHP Wade Miley (2-1, 3.06) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 1.66).
Who’s hot for the D-backs: Not even a mild concussion can deter Didi Gregorius, who hit his third home run of the season (in 30 at-bats) Sunday and extended his season-long hitting streak to eight games. .. Martin Prado had a five-game hitting streak stopped Sunday. ... Matt Reynolds has not given up a run in 16 appearances covering 15 1/3 innings, the longest current streak in the majors. ... Paul Goldschmidt has four hits in his last 11 at-bats as well as two stolen bases with two sacrifice flies. ... Wade Miley has given up four runs in only one of his six starts, that being his most recent on in San Diego on Friday. ... Eric Chavez is 7 for 21 with a homer and two doubles.
Who’s not not for the D-backs: Brandon McCarthy left his last start with a lead and a chance for his first victory of the season, but it was not to be. McCarthy has given up 53 hits in 33 2/3 innings, although his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) remains an abnormally high 99 percentage points above his (and the league’s) norm. ... Miguel Montero has two hits in his last 16 at-bats, a homer and a single in the 8-1 victory over the Padres on Friday. Both balls went to the opposite field, though, a good sign.
Who’s hot for the Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw has given up as many as three runs in only two of his seven starts, one against the D-backs in a 3-0 loss against Patrick Corbin on April 12. Ever the Cy Young contender, he has lost four of his decisions against the D-backs. ... Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .337 with seven doubles, three home runs and 22 RBIs in 28 games in his first full season in L.A. He also continues to play Gold Glove defense. ... Matt Kemp, who started slowly, has seven hits in his last 25 at-bats to raise his batting average to .265. He is 4 for 4 in stolen base attempts.
Who’s not hot for the Dodgers: The Dodgers are struggling to put up runs in the division -- they have 55 in 18 games against the NL West, just more than three a game. ... Luis Cruz, expected to be the starting third baseman this season, is 6 for 66 (.091) this season and 3 for 32 at home. ... Beckett has given up 13 runs in 20 innings since his best game of the season, a 1-0 complete-game loss to the D-backs on April 14.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: Goldschmidt is 9 for 12 with two doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in his career against Capuano. ... The back end of the D-backs bullpen should be nice and fresh for the series. Closer J.J. Putz has not pitched in five days, Heath Bell and Brad Ziegler have pitched twice in the last seven days and David Hernandez has pitched twice in the last eight days. There were no save opportunities in the San Diego series. ... The D-backs continue to play them close -- 17 of their last 21 games have been decided by two or fewer runs or in extra innings. They are 6-0 in extra-inning games. ... After sweeping the D-backs early last week, the Giants swept the Dodgers in AT&T Park to complete a perfect 6-0 week and get back into first place in the division. ... The Dodgers are 5-13 against the NL West. ... Gonzalez has missed the last two games with a neck problem.