Diamondbacks look to rebound against Reds (Jul 07, 2017)
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to the best start in franchise history despite a meltdown against the National League West-leading Dodgers this week.
The Cincinnati Reds, meanwhile, can hope their pitching staff catches up to their big boppers as the season moves into the second half.
Even after a walk-off loss that concluded a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, Arizona is 52-34 under first-year manager Torey Lovullo behind four All-Stars and a pitching staff that ranks second in the NL in ERA.
Zack Greinke, one of the D-backs' All-Stars, will face Tim Adelman in the series opener Friday at Chase Field, where Arizona has rolled.
Cincinnati (37-48) took two out of three from the tumbling Colorado Rockies, winning the series finale 6-3 on Thursday afternoon. The Reds have won seven of their past 13 games overall but have lost 16 of their past 20 on the road.
The Diamondbacks are 32-13 at home, the second-best home record in the majors behind the Dodgers, who extended their home record to 36-11 by overcoming a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning to beat Arizona closer Fernando Rodney 5-4 on Thursday.
"It's certainly a tough loss to absorb," Lovullo said. "The Dodgers beat us fair and square. Hopefully we can grow from these experiences."
Reds left fielder Adam Duvall hit his 20th homer of the season Thursday, joining teammates Joey Votto (24) and Scott Schebler (21) to form the second Cincinnati trio to have at least 20 homers at the All-Star break. Tony Perez (29), Johnny Bench (28) and Lee May (20) accomplished the feat in 1970.
The Reds are the only team with three 20-homer hitters this year.
"Collectively, as a whole group, we've been swinging it well," Duvall said Thursday. "We've just got to keep winning ballgames."
The weekend series features two of the most productive first basemen in the majors in All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and Votto, who have two of the top three on-base-plus-slugging percentages in the NL.
Goldschmidt is hitting .314 with 66 RBIs, one short of the major league lead, and an 1.009 OPS. Votto is hitting .316 with 24 homers, 62 RBIs and a 1.051 OPS. The fans, however, voted Washington's Ryan Zimmerman as the starting first baseman in the All-Star game.
Greinke (10-4, 3.05 ERA) has won his past two decisions and four of his past five. He posted a 6-2 victory over Colorado on Saturday, when he two runs and three hits while striking out eight in seven innings.
He is tied for second in the NL in wins, and he is third in WHIP (1.02) and sixth in ERA. Like his team, Greinke has had great success at home, going 8-0 with a 2.67 ERA in 10 starts. He is averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings at Chase Field, where his WHIP is 0.89.
Greinke is 7-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 12 career appearances, all starts, against Cincinnati. Among teams that he has made at least 12 starts against, Greinke has a lower ERA against only one team, San Diego. His ERA is 2.07 in 19 starts against the Padres.
Greinke beat the Reds twice in 2015 while with the Dodgers, the last time he faced them. He gave up one run in 14 innings while striking out 17 in those two games.
Votto has a career .414 batting average with three homers and three doubles in 34 plate appearances against Greinke.
Adelman (5-5, 4.67 ERA) will make his first career appearance against Arizona. He is 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA in his past eight starts, with four of them quality starts.
He has six quality starts, second on the Reds' staff to Scott Feldman (nine).
Adleman gave up three runs on six hits, including two homers, in five innings during a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs in his most recent start last Sunday.
Cincinnati pitchers lead the majors in home runs allowed and walks allowed, and they have the highest ERA. The Reds have used 13 starting pitchers this season, tied with the Seattle Mariners for the most in the majors.