Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks game preview
While it's been a disappointing season for the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt is proving to be a rare bright spot.
A day after putting the team on his back, Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks open a three-game home set against the Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Goldschmidt is 11 for 22 with six extra-base hits and five RBIs in July. His two-run homer proved to be all the Diamondbacks (37-53) needed in Sunday's 3-1 victory at Atlanta, just their second win in seven games.
"It's baseball. It comes down to not letting their guy beat you," losing pitcher Alex Wood told MLB's official website. "We let the one guy we had pointed out, Goldschmidt, beat (us). He's a heck of a ballplayer."
The slugging first baseman was named an NL All-Star starter shortly after Sunday's game.
"I'm sure it's going to be another one of many," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's a great choice. There's conversations that are going to go on about whether certain guys were the right choices or not. Paul won't be one of them. The consensus is he's earned it."
Goldschmidt is batting .407 with four homers and eight RBIs during a seven-game stretch against the Marlins.
Joining him at next week's Midsummer Classic will be Giancarlo Stanton, Miami's lone representative. However, third baseman Casey McGehee could be added to the roster later via NL Final Vote.
Stanton, a career .304 hitter versus Arizona, has nine homers and 22 RBIs in 22 games in the series.
The Marlins (43-45) are seeking a third straight victory for the first time in over a month after winning 8-4 at St. Louis on Sunday. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a three-run homer while Marcell Ozuna and Jeff Baker both drove in two runs.
"This group is special," said manager Mike Redmond, whose team has won four of six following a four-game skid. "We've bounced back all year."
It's been a wild week for Marlins starter Tom Koehler (6-6, 3.48 ERA), who welcomed his first child the day after beating Philadelphia 5-0 on Wednesday. The right-hander struck out seven over six innings of three-hit ball, improving to 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA over his last three starts.
"I've said it all year and even last year, this guy, I thought, was our most improved pitcher from last year to this year," Redmond said.
While Koehler opened 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA on the road, he's since gone 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA over his last four outings away from home. He gave up one run and three hits over six innings in his only appearance against Arizona, a 1-0 home defeat May 18, 2013.
Diamondbacks rookie Chase Anderson (5-4, 3.91) is looking to avoid becoming the first pitcher since at least 1914 to lose five straight starts after winning his first five. The right-hander, called up from Double-A Mobile on May 6, has a 5.03 ERA during his losing streak after allowing three runs and eight hits over 3 2-3 innings in Wednesday's 5-1 defeat at Pittsburgh.
"I've been working in the bullpens and doing pretty good in between (starts) but I've got to carry it into games," Anderson said following his shortest appearance of the year. "You don't last in this game very long if you don't go deep in the game as a starting pitcher. I've got to get better for sure."