Playing in the desert has not served the Arizona Diamondbacks well, as they are off to the worst home start in franchise history.
If the Diamondbacks are going to win three straight for the first time, they will need to solve those home woes Friday night when they open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Arizona (7-18) has lost eight consecutive games at Chase Field, the second-longest skid in team history behind 11 straight defeats July 15-25, 2004. The Diamondbacks are 1-11 at home this year behind a 5.83 ERA.
"There’s no easy answer," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said following the last home loss, 5-2 to the New York Mets on April 16. "Guys are definitely trying their best and doing everything they can, so hopefully it will turn around."
The Diamondbacks started to play better at the end of a seven-game road trip, winning consecutive contests for the second time. Arizona scored three runs in the first two innings en route to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
Goldschmidt and catcher Miguel Montero drove in runs on doubles, one day after Arizona scored five times in the ninth to come away with a 7-5 victory.
The wins solidified Montero’s belief that manager Kirk Gibson and general manager Kevin Towers should not be fired for the poor start.
”They’ve been coming here with the best attitude and the best intentions and they’ve been pushing us hard, very positive,” Montero said. ”I wanted to say that because the blame should be on us, should be on the players. We haven’t played the way we’re supposed to play. I wanted to take that off my chest."
Arizona now turns to Josh Collmenter (0-2, 4.50 ERA), who makes his third start after four relief appearances. The right-hander has a 6.30 ERA in dropping both starts, and he’s 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two against the Phillies (11-11).
He will be opposed by veteran Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 5.75), who was roughed up in his last start. The right-hander allowed six runs and nine hits in four innings while not receiving a decision in a 10-9 win at Colorado on Sunday.
Hernandez went the distance in his only start against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs and five hits in a 5-2 win for Tampa Bay on July 30.
Philadelphia is coming off a 7-3 win at Los Angeles on Thursday, as it scored four runs in the ninth. Catcher Carlos Ruiz put the Phillies ahead with a two-run double before right fielder Marlon Byrd added a two-run single.
Philadelphia has won four of five after dropping the first two on its 10-game trip.
"I’m working real hard in the cage, doing the drills and I got my swing back, so that’s good," said Ruiz, who was 7 for 14 with six extra-base hits and six RBIs in the four-game series with the Dodgers.
"We feel great, and I think we are playing good baseball. We will have to continue that, go to Arizona and do the same thing."