The Diamondbacks were going to need an incredible September to have any chance of winning the NL’s second wild-card spot. But they’ve gotten off to a poor start to the month after a shaky finish to August, putting a serious dent in their playoff aspirations.
Arizona looks to avoid a fifth loss in six contests as it continues a three-game set against visiting Toronto on Tuesday night.
The Diamondbacks (69-67) were held scoreless on two hits over the first eight innings in falling 4-1 in Monday’s series opener. Coupled with Cincinnati’s 7-2 win over St. Louis earlier in the day, they dropped seven games behind the Reds for the second wild-card berth.
The D-backs have dropped eight of 12 and totaled eight runs in the last five games.
“The offense this homestand has not been good. Everybody is that damn good? Come on,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “Everybody isn’t Cy Young. And sometimes you have to beat Cy Young.”
All-Star Paul Goldschmidt is 0 for 9 over the last three contests, Gerardo Parra is 3 for 18 in the past five and Eric Chavez is 1 for 15 with five strikeouts since being activated from the disabled list Aug. 26.
“Guys are playing hard, trying to have good at-bats,” Goldschmidt said. “It just hasn’t been as consistent as we would like. When you are not consistent, you are not going to win a ton of games. You will win here and there, and that’s what happened. As a whole the last couple of games, not good enough to win.”
The Diamondbacks will try to score some runs for Wade Miley (9-9, 3.55 ERA) in his first appearance against the last-place Blue Jays (63-75).
The left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA over his last seven starts, with the loss coming Wednesday despite allowing two runs over seven innings in a 5-1 loss to the Padres.
Miley will be opposed by rookie Todd Redmond (2-2, 4.30), who is coming off a solid start Wednesday. The right-hander gave up two runs and three hits while striking out seven over 5 2/3 innings of a 7-2 home win over the Yankees.
Redmond was hit hard in his previous outing, though, allowing eight runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 12-4 loss in Houston on Aug. 23. He has struggled on the road, going 0-1 with a 7.41 ERA in four starts while giving up 25 hits and walking six over 17 innings.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer Monday for the Blue Jays, giving him 35 on the season to go along with 101 RBIs. He’s 6 for 16 (.375) with two home runs and four RBIs in the last five games.
“He’s dangerous,” manager John Gibbons said of Encarnacion, who set career highs with 42 homers and 110 RBIs last season. “Eddie’s not just a slugger. Eddie goes up there with a plan. He’s really a student of hitting.”
The Blue Jays have won six of eight, allowing two runs or fewer in six of those games.