Delgado takes mound in finale with Rays as D-backs try to win two straight for first time in two weeks.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS FS Arizona
Tampa Bay Rays are in the mix for both the AL East and wild-card leads, the
Arizona Diamondbacks must string together some victories in order to remain a serious NL playoff contender.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in almost two weeks, the Diamondbacks try to sweep the two-game interleague set from the visiting Rays on Wednesday night.
Cody Ross hit a three-run homer and Wade Miley threw seven strong innings as Arizona (57-55) avoided a third straight defeat with a 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday.
The Diamondbacks have just won three times -- twice versus Tampa Bay -- in the last nine games. They trail the NL West-leading Dodgers by five games and are 4 1/2 out of the final wild-card spot. Arizona last won consecutive games July 25-26.
"We just have to put runs on the board more," said third baseman Eric Chavez, who is 5 for 11 with seven RBIs in three games against Tampa Bay this season.
The Rays (66-46) lost for the ninth time in 37 games. They lead the wild-card race and are 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the East.
Evan Longoria's solo homer gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the fourth, but Arizona scored four times in the bottom of the frame to break things open. Longoria is 2 for 23 in his last six contests following an 11-game hitting streak.
Ross has batted .452 (14 for 31) with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight games.
"He's barreling the ball a lot better," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "You can see that coming on. He's much calmer at the plate and not jumping at the pitch."
Randall Delgado (4-3, 3.17 ERA) takes the mound for the D-backs looking for a fourth straight winning start, but he allowed six runs -- four earned -- and a pair of two-run homers while striking out seven in six innings of a 7-6 victory in Boston on Friday.
The right-hander, who threw 14 2/3 scoreless innings over his previous two outings, is 1-5 with a 6.35 ERA during interleague play.
"He actually hung in there pretty good," Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "We kept grinding away."
Delgado gave up a grand slam to Matt Joyce as well as two other hits and walked five in four innings of a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay last season.
The Rays counter with
Chris Archer (6-4, 2.65), who gave up four runs in 37 innings while going 4-0 in five July starts, but matched that total while allowing two homers in seven innings of a 4-1 loss to the Giants on Friday.
"It's good to stay humble and continue to work. It's all just a reminder," Archer told the Rays' official website. "You're facing major league hitters. Just because you had a couple scoreless outings doesn't mean that they can't score four or five runs off you in one-third of an inning."
Making his first appearance against the Diamondbacks, the right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA against NL opponents.
Teammate Wil Myers is batting .415 (17 for 41) during a 10-game road hitting streak.