Diamondbacks-Blue Jays preview
TORONTO -- The Arizona Diamondbacks try to complete a two-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon in their first visit to Rogers Centre in 12 years.
Actually, the 2004 visit was the only other time that the Diamondbacks have played in Toronto.
The Diamondbacks started out the short set Tuesday with a 4-2 victory Tuesday that gives them a 7-6 edge over the Blue Jays in the few times the teams have played each other in interleague play over the years.
The series finale Wednesday will be a duel of left-handed starters. Robbie Ray tries to extend Arizona's winning streak to six games while J.A. Happ tries to stop Toronto's skid at three games.
The Diamondbacks won Tuesday with more runs (four) than hits (three). Luckily for them, two of the three hits left the park.
"It's amazing," Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. "You don't really remember many of those but we'll take it. I didn't realize it till I looked up in the seventh and it was only three hits. I had to check my card."
Now Ray will be going for his third successive winning start and Hale said tthis is an indication of the rotation coming around.
"That's what we built this team around," Hale said. "That's what we hung our hat on was that our starters every night, whether it's (Zack) Greinke at one or Robbie (Ray) in the five-hole, are going to give us six, seven innings every time and we're starting to get it going."
The Diamondbacks were able to close out the game Tuesday without closer Brad Ziegler, who has converted a club-record 43 consecutive save attempts, including 15 this season. Jake Barrett got the inning-ending double play in the seventh, Tyler Clippard handled the eighth and Daniel Hudson the ninth for his first save of the season.
"(Ziegler) was down tonight, it was three in a row so we felt good with the eighth being Clip and the ninth being Hudson and he did a great job for us," Hale said. "And, of course, the biggest pitch of the game was Barrett getting the ground ball to turn two."
That means he should be ready for Wednesday.
Happ also is trying to win his third straight start for the Blue Jays. While Ray has not faced Toronto before, Happ has had some success in his career against Arizona, going 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in five games (four starts).
The Blue Jays grounded into a pair of double plays Tuesday to bring their season total to 70 -- most in the majors.
"It's always frustrating," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They used our game. We usually hit some home runs. We had some chances. We had some guys on base, we couldn't cash anything in. That was our nemesis early in the year, but we've been on a pretty good roll."