D-backs look for boost from McCarthy
By JEFF MEZYDLO
STATS Senior Writer
Though there’s plenty of work left for the Arizona Diamondbacks to catch the Cincinnati Reds for the final NL wild-card spot, Paul Goldschmidt gave them something to build on.
The visiting Diamondbacks and their All-Star first baseman look to further cut into the Reds’ lead Wednesday night.
One night after losing 5-3 in the opener of this four-game set, Arizona (65-59) received a complete game from Patrick Corbin and an eighth-inning grand slam from Goldschmidt in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory.
The Diamondbacks, who began a nine-game trip by taking two of three from Pittsburgh, are five back of Cincinnati (71-55) in the wild-card race.
“There’s some good teams ahead of us. It’s not like we’re one game behind,” Goldschmidt said.
With his 31st homer, Goldschmidt set a franchise record with his third grand slam of the season and became the first NL player to record 100 RBIs. He needs one more RBI to claim sole ownership of the club record for a first baseman.
“I hope he’s got a big run left in him,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “The team feeds off Patrick (Corbin) and Goldy. They’ve been our most consistent guys all year.”
Goldschmidt is 7 for 18 with two homers and seven RBI in the last four contests, and he’s batting .421 (8 for 19) with three home runs and seven RBI in five games against the Reds this season.
After Corbin recorded his first win in five starts, the Diamondbacks hope Brandon McCarthy (2-7, 4.84 ERA) also can get back on track Wednesday.
The right-hander has dropped four straight starts and is 0-3 with a 4.24 ERA since he returned from a two-month stint on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
McCarthy yielded two runs in each of his first two outings since the return, but he gave up four in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday.
“He threw some really good pitches but the consistency wasn’t there and he made some mistakes they got on,” Gibson said. “Overall, he’s pitching really good for us.”
This will be McCarthy’s first start against the Reds. He pitched two-thirds of an inning for the Chicago White Sox at Cincinnati in 2006.
He’ll be opposed by Mike Leake (10-5, 3.01), who tries to bounce back from his second rough outing in three starts. Leake is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four outings, alternating good and bad starts during that span.
He yielded an earned run in seven innings of a 3-2, 13-inning win over San Diego on Aug. 11 but gave up four with nine hits in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 7-6 loss at Milwaukee on Friday.
The right-hander has a 6.12 ERA while going 1-0 in four starts against the Diamondbacks. He allowed a two-run homer to Gerardo Parra and three other hits over eight innings of a 4-3 loss at Arizona on June 22.
Aaron Hill, 3 for 6 with a homer against Leake, is batting .426 during a 13-game hitting streak.
Cincinnati star Joey Votto went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Tuesday. He’s 2 for 15 with seven strikeouts in the last five games.