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Sat, May 19, 2012 - 7:15 PM ET
 

Diamondbacks-Royals Preview

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A visit to Kauffman Stadium gave the Arizona Diamondbacks just what they needed to move another step away from their recent woes.

The Diamondbacks will try to continue their turnaround with a seventh consecutive victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

Arizona (18-22) clinched its first win streak since a three-game run April 29-May 1 with a 6-4 victory in Friday's opener of a three-game series in Kansas City. Miguel Montero matched a season high with three RBIs, including a tiebreaking double, and Chris Young had a two-run double in his return from the disabled list.

Young injured his right shoulder after colliding with the wall in a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh on April 17. He's now batting .395 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 12 games this season.

"Bringing CY back today was certainly uplifting to the team. It was a big win for us," said manager Kirk Gibson, whose team has won three of four following a 2-10 stretch.

Ian Kennedy (3-3, 3.81 ERA) will try to take advantage of Young's return to the lineup in his attempt to end a three-start losing streak to open this month. The right-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in two of those outings but has received a combined one run of support over his last three starts.

He gave up three runs over six innings Monday in Los Angeles but was outdueled by reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw in a 3-1 loss. The two pitchers also exchanged brushback pitches during that game.

"I think he pitched very well," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's website. "It's the best he's thrown the ball. Ian was outstanding."

Kennedy is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two career starts against Kansas City (15-23) and gave up one run over six innings during a 3-2 win at Kauffman on June 22. The right-hander, though, will pitch opposite a rejuvenated Bruce Chen (2-4, 4.34) as he seeks to avoid losing four straight starts for the second time in his career.

Chen, 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his last two starts, gave up a solo homer and four singles over 6 2-3 innings against a formidable Texas lineup in a 3-1 road victory Monday.

"I just tried to make sure I threw all my pitches from all different angles so they'd be kind of off balance," Chen said.

The Royals, though, are a major league-worst 4-16 at home and have lost three straight there after winning four in a row to wrap up their most recent road trip.

"We've got to play better," manager Ned Yost said. "We can come up with all the excuses, all the reasons why, but the bottom line is we just need to play better, and put our game together at little better. We need to pitcher better and hit better at home.

"We've been really good on the road. We need to find a way to do it at home."

Chen is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against Arizona with the most recent taking place May 3, 2002.

Tagged: Royals, Diamondbacks, Bruce Chen, Chris Young, Ian Kennedy

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