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Wed, Jun 29, 2011 - 3:40 PM ET
 

Indians-Diamondbacks Preview

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Through the first two games of their series, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians have shown why they have a chance to remain serious postseason contenders.

After each team needed some late heroics in splitting the first two, the Diamondbacks and Indians could be in for an exciting conclusion to the set Wednesday at Chase Field.

One night after Orlando Cabrera hit a tiebreaking home run in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a 5-4 win, pinch-hitter Wily Mo Pena delivered a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to help Arizona snap a three-game skid with a 6-4 victory Tuesday.

The Diamondbacks (44-37), who improved to 9-5 during interleague play, are 2 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Cleveland (41-37) is one game behind Detroit for the AL Central lead, but has lost six of eight - all against NL opponents.

The Indians hope for another strong outing from scheduled starter Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 3.62 ERA), who has allowed two earned runs and 18 hits over 29 2-3 innings while winning three of his last four starts.

The right-hander was charged with four runs - one earned - and did not issue a walk in eight innings of a 4-3 loss at San Francisco on Friday.

"I felt good and every pitch was working, especially the fastball,'' Carrasco said. "I haven't changed anything the last four games."

Manager Manny Acta sees an overall change for the better in the 24-year-old Carrasco, who was 2-6 with a 5.51 ERA in 12 starts the previous two seasons.

"He's maturing fast as a pitcher," Acta said.

The Diamondbacks counter with Zach Duke (1-2, 5.73), who tries to bounce back after he allowed six runs in four innings and did not factor in the decision of a 7-6 win at Detroit on Friday.

The left-hander was 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his first three starts after missing the first two months with a broken hand, but is 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in his last three.

"It's been frustrating, but I'll keep working and give this team better efforts," Duke told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I realize it's early on and I have better days ahead of me."

Duke is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA against the Indians, but has not faced them since 2009 while with Pittsburgh.

Back in the majors for the first time since 2008, Pena has three homers and five RBIs in eight games since the Diamondbacks called him up from the minors last week.

"The guy can swing the bat,'' Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts said. "He hits homers and he hits the ball a long way.''

Arizona second baseman Kelly Johnson homered with two RBIs on Tuesday, and is 3 for 6 with three RBIs in this series.

Carlos Santana's two-run homer in the top of the ninth tied the game for the Indians. It's the second-year catcher's second hit in his last 21 at-bats.

After going 2 for 4 with an RBI in his major league debut in the opener, Cleveland's prized third base prospect Lonnie Chisenhall doubled Tuesday.

Tagged: Indians, Diamondbacks, Wily Mo Pena, Zach Duke, Carlos Carrasco

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