The Arizona Diamondbacks had no trouble producing runs in their last series. History says they may have a more difficult time in their next game.
Arizona enters Friday night’s matchup with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field after scoring 32 runs in taking two of three from Philadelphia. The Diamondbacks had at least 15 hits in each game and homered six times over the first two while batting .403 for the series.
"They can really swing it," said Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, who beat the Diamondbacks 7-6 on Wednesday. "The whole stadium knew they were going to come out swinging. They have a lot of guys in that lineup that have done a lot of damage."
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That lineup is getting contributions in addition to star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who finished a home run shy of the cycle Wednesday to raise his MLB-best average to .341. David Peralta is 11 for 15 with eight RBIs over his last four games, Aaron Hill is 8 for 14 in his past five and A.J. Pollock went 8 for 15 with six runs in the series.
Arizona (56-57) has won 12 of 18 as it begins a 10-game road trip, though success has been sporadic in prior meetings with Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (7-6, 4.57 ERA).
Teheran has yielded two runs or less each time in going 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks, winning the last two. He pitched six shutout innings at Turner Field in 2013 and allowed two runs in seven last season in Phoenix.
Goldschmidt is 0 for 9 with four strikeouts against Teheran and Hill 1 for 6. Peralta, limited to pinch-hitting duties Wednesday by a strained quadriceps, is 2 for 3 off the right-hander.
Teheran is 2-2 over his last seven outings but posted five quality starts. He shut out Miami through six innings Aug. 7 before permitting three runs in the seventh and leaving with a no decision.
Teheran also has been tough at Turner Field, where he’s 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 starts.
The spiraling Braves (51-63) return home following consecutive losses to Tampa Bay and are an MLB-worst 9-21 since July 8. Atlanta enters this three-game set off Wednesday’s 9-6 defeat in which the Rays scored six seventh-inning runs off rookie relievers Matt Marksberry and Ryan Kelly.
”It’s a box of chocolates sometimes when you have inexperienced guys in the bullpen,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ”Sometimes you don’t make a play and give those guys an opportunity to get back in the game, and sometimes the inexperience shows.”
Atlanta gets its first look at Robbie Ray (3-7, 3.13) as the rookie tries to stop a tough stretch of his own. After posting a 2.16 ERA over his first eight starts, the left-hander has gone 0-3 with a 4.88 ERA in his last five.
Ray failed to go beyond five innings in three of four starts before allowing three runs on a pair of homers through six of Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Cincinnati.
Peralta is expected to be back in the lineup along with Yasmany Tomas, who sat out Wednesday with left calf tightness.
The Diamondbacks won two of three from visiting Atlanta from June 1-3 but have dropped 11 of 13 at Turner Field.