The Arizona Diamondbacks are seeing their chances at a wild-card spot all but disappear, with a hapless offense a big reason to blame.
Their troubles might continue Wednesday when they try to avoid a three-game home sweep to red-hot Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Diamondbacks (69-68) lost for the fifth time in six games Tuesday, a 10-4 defeat that dropped them eight games behind Cincinnati for the second NL wild-card spot with only 25 to play.
Arizona has managed just 12 runs over its last six games and is batting .195 with runners in scoring position during that stretch, going 3 for 32 in such occasions in the five losses. All four runs Tuesday came on three homers as the club went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
Paul Goldschmidt, who leads the NL with 104 RBIs, has gone hitless in four straight games for the first time since Aug. 24-27, 2012.
“We have to figure out how to get something going,” said Adam Eaton, who homered on Tuesday. “It is called a grind for a reason and we can’t put our heads down and pout about it. We have to get something going, some way and somehow and figure it out.”
Turning things around could be a tall task against Buehrle (11-7, 3.92 ERA), who is 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA over his last eight starts. He’s also thrown at least seven innings in three of four outings, including a 3-2 home win over Kansas City on Friday when he threw seven shutout innings of four-hit ball for the Blue Jays (64-75).
“He’s got so many different weapons,” catcher J.P. Arencibia said of Buehrle, who pitched through an upset stomach. “He’s so good at executing a plan.”
Toronto’s pitching staff has posted a 2.56 ERA while winning seven of the last nine contests.
Edwin Encarnacion continued to enjoy his visits to Chase Field on Tuesday, going 3 for 3 and homering in his fifth consecutive game there. He is 10 for 17 with seven homers and 11 RBIs over his last five games at Arizona.
“Eddie hits everywhere,” manager John Gibbons said, “but he hits really well here.”
Trying to end that streak for the Diamondbacks will be Randall Delgado (4-5, 3.67), who has experienced more success at home than on the road but hasn’t been supplied with much offense behind him. He owns a 3.29 ERA in eight starts at Chase Field but is just 1-3 in those games, receiving two runs of support or fewer six times.
He took the loss in a 1-0 defeat to San Francisco on Friday despite yielding one run and three hits over seven innings.
“He threw like Randall can throw,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “Great control, had them off balance and his location was pretty (darn) good. He certainly pitched good enough to win. You’ve got to win them.”
Buehrle was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts versus Arizona last year while with Miami. Willie Bloomquist is 19 for 41 (.463) with eight doubles against him.