Martinez might join D-backs to face Reds (Jul 19, 2017)
CINCINNATI -- The Arizona Diamondbacks are struggling on offense, but they acquired a big-time bat on Tuesday night.
Arizona traded three prospects to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for outfielder J.D. Martinez, who was among the most sought-after bats leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.
"We're real excited because we know what he's capable of," said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. "I've watched him for many years in the American League. He's a special bat. He'll fit right in. Excited to get him in there and get started."
Martinez is expected to join the D-backs on Wednesday in the middle game of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Arizona (54-39) is off to one of their best starts in franchise history. However, the season took a turn for the worse in recent weeks with losses in 11 of 14 games, including a season-high five consecutive defeats before Tuesday.
The deal for Martinez along with an offensive outburst in an 11-2 win at Cincinnati on Tuesday night could provide the spark Arizona had been seeking.
"We've been struggling a little bit offensively, and this is a good hitter's park," Lovullo said of Great American. "We believe in our approach, we believe in who we are offensively, and we believe that worm will turn."
It did on Tuesday night, when Arizona had nine players collect an extra-base hit, a franchise record.
Arizona ace Zack Greinke will start Wednesday. The right-hander is on a roll, going 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA in his past 15 starts dating to April 15.
Greinke (11-4, 2.86 ERA) is historically tough on the Reds, going 8-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 career starts. In his only start against Cincinnati this season, he pitched seven shutout innings and picked up the win in a 6-3 victory on July 7.
Right-hander Tim Adleman (5-7, 4.99) will make his 18th appearance of the season and 17th straight start for the Reds on Wednesday. With six quality starts, Adleman trails only staff leader Scott Feldman, who has nine. Adleman has faced the Diamondbacks just once in his career, and it came this season in a loss to Greinke on July 7. Adleman allowed four runs (three earned).
Cincinnati (39-54) has dropped five straight since the All-Star break by a combined 46-14. The Reds are rebuilding around a very inexperienced pitching staff, and manager Bryan Price is doing his best to maintain his club's psyche.
"This has been a really difficult last three years," Price said. "We've really struggled to put together winning streaks. We've had a lot of losing streaks. We've had a lot of turnover in both the rotation and the bullpen. From a position-players standpoint, those guys go out and bust their tails. It's hard to dig yourself out."
Cincinnati took two of three games from Arizona at Chase Field prior to the All-Star break, giving up just seven runs in the three games, including one shutout.
"I don't want to take anything away from the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff," Lovullo said. "They're very qualified. They did a great job against us in our own stadium. We have a big challenge ahead of us. We look forward to that."