Carlos Ruiz is putting in some solid work both at the plate and behind it for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ruiz looks to build on another strong performance Sunday as the Phillies go for their sixth win in eight games in the finale of a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ruiz is 11 for 22 with four doubles, one triple, a homer, seven RBIs and eight runs over the past six games. The catcher has four hits in this series after getting three with one RBI and two runs as Philadelphia (12-12) erased a five-run deficit by doing all of its scoring in the seventh and eighth innings of a 6-5 win Saturday.
He then helped maintain that slim lead in the ninth, pouncing on a pitch that got away from him before throwing out Martin Prado at second base. Ruiz did get some help from replays, which determined that Chase Utley applied the tag as Prado came off the base.
"It was a hustling play," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He could have very easily put it in his pocket there, but he made it fairly close and ended up with a big play just with the hustle."
Ruiz continued his recent success against the Diamondbacks (8-19) and is batting .451 with 17 RBIs in his past 21 against them, getting at least one hit in 18 of those games.
A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.73 ERA) would appreciate some run support as he’s scheduled to get a sixth chance at his first win of 2014. The right-hander, who has been backed by just eight total runs, pitched well enough to win Tuesday, yielding two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win in 10 innings at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That came five days after his best performance of the season in which he allowed three hits over seven innings while getting no support in a 1-0 victory over Atlanta.
Burnett has also helped himself with four hits over the past two games, getting a career-high three while scoring a run Tuesday.
"I’m not here for my individual numbers. I’m here to keep my team in it until skip takes me out," Burnett said. "If I win, that’s fine. If I don’t, that’s fine. I just go about my job."
He’s split four outings at Chase Field with a 7.17 ERA, though he’s making his first appearance there since June 21, 2010, when he was hammered for seven runs and three homers in a 10-4 loss while with the New York Yankees.
The Diamondbacks will try to bounce back after their season-high three-game win streak ended Saturday. The need for improvement is glaring in the bullpen, which has allowed 13 runs in 15 innings over the past five games, including four in 2 2-3 frames Saturday.
"We should have had enough pitching to get through that game," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We just didn’t play well."
Brandon McCarthy (0-4, 6.23) hasn’t, either, and he’s still seeking his first win heading into his sixth start. The right-hander’s ERA and seven homers allowed are among the highest in the majors.
He gave up a three-run shot Tuesday while surrendering five runs in five innings of a 9-2 road defeat to the Chicago Cubs.
McCarthy, though, was impressive in his only career meeting with the Phillies on May 12, scattering seven hits in eight scoreless innings of a 4-2 loss in 10 at home.