Diamondbacks hope for good news on Iannetta before facing Pirates
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks can clinch a four-game series with the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday after an 11-4 win on Friday night that gave them at least a split.
The Diamondbacks scored seven runs in the third, tying a club record for most scored against the Pirates in one inning. They added four in the fourth inning.
The win was overshadowed by an injury to catcher Chris Iannetta. He was hit in the mouth by Pirates reliever Johnny Barbato in the seventh inning and left the game. An update on Iannetta, who was taken to a hospital for a precautionary examination after the game, is expected before Saturday’s game.
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The incident cast a pall over what was an offensive explosion for Arizona, which has won three straight. But the Diamondbacks are 15-6 at home this season.
“We’re comfortable here. We know that,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “But we just have to continue to do what we can at home, and go on the road and have that same approach.”
Second baseman Brandon Drury is enjoying the confines of his home ballpark. He has reached base safely in 31 of his last 32 games at Chase Field, where he’s batting .454 this season, and has hit safely in 10 straight home games, going 17-for-41 (.415) with six doubles and three home runs.
“I feel good and I”m looking forward to keeping it rolling,” Drury said.
“What he’s doing right now is not surprising me. Whether it’s at home or the road, I just look at the overall numbers,” Lovullo said.
The Pirates will try to stop a six-game skid. It’s their longest losing streak of the season, and Pittsburgh is 3-10 in its last 13 games. They scored four runs on Friday, the first time that has happened since May 5.
“Four runs, four is a number that sometimes works,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Not when the other team has (11).”
There are some positive numbers for the Pirates. They are 12-4 in games played between Friday and Sunday this season. That makes them 2-18 in Monday-through-Thursday games.
Outfielder Gregory Polanco has enjoyed success against the Diamondbacks. He has a 10-game hitting streak, going 18-for-45 (.400) with four homers and 17 RBIs against Arizona.
Pittsburgh sends 25-year-old right-hander Trevor Williams to the mound for his second start of the season against Arizona. Williams has made six relief appearances as well.
Williams was hammered for six runs in the first inning by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. He lasted only three innings and took the loss in a 12-1 defeat.
Williams will face the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career. He’s 1-2 with a 7.98 ERA this season.
The Diamondbacks counter with right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-2, 3.83). Walker gave up one earned run in his last start on Sunday at Colorado. But he took the loss after pitching 5 2/3 innings.
In Walker’s first season in the National League, he will face the Pirates for the first time in his career. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his seven starts this season.