The host Arizona Diamondbacks will look to match their season-high four-game winning streak when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday in Phoenix.
Arizona opened the four-game series with consecutive wins. Rookie hurler Tommy Henry tossed seven strong innings for his first major league victory in a 6-4 win on Tuesday.
Arizona is 21-6 in its past 27 games against the Pirates, including a 9-2 mark at Chase Field during that span.
One bright spot for Pittsburgh on Tuesday was the play of first baseman Michael Chavis, who homered twice and drove in three runs.
Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro, who was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game, became the center of attention after he slid headfirst into third base in the fourth inning. Castro, 23, reached safely but not before his cell phone went flying from his back pocket.
Despite the baffling turn of events, Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton is eager to give Castro an extended look.
“He’s been swinging the bat really well vs. left-handed pitching, so this is an opportunity to get him back,” Shelton said. “I think that was something that stood out. He had been down (in the minors), playing with energy, playing with a lot of things that we challenged him on.”
Pittsburgh, which has lost 11 of its past 15 games, will send Mitch Keller (3-8, 4.21 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday. He allowed a run over six innings in a 1-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles last Friday.
The right-hander struggled early in the season but has posted a 1.74 ERA over his past five outings covering 31 innings.
Keller, 26, is making his first career appearance against Arizona. While encouraged by his recent success, he said there is still room for improvement.
“I’m just looking forward to a day where I have all my best stuff and be happy to see what I can do with that,” Keller said. “The last few ones, I haven’t had my best stuff and we’ve managed to go scoreless, or a few runs. I’m just looking forward to the day where I have my best stuff and to string it together.”
Arizona will counter with left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.96). He received a no-decision after giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies last Friday.
Bumgarner, 33, has gone 1-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 10 road starts this season compared to 5-3 with a 3.31 mark in 12 outings at Chase Field.
The four-time All-Star is 3-6 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 career starts against Pittsburgh. His last win came on July 25, 2017, while pitching for the San Francisco Giants.
The Diamondbacks have been encouraged by the play of shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, who had two hits in Tuesday’s victory.
Perdomo, 22, has hit safely in four of his last five games while batting ninth in the order. Known primarily for his defense, Perdomo is showing gradual improvement at the plate. He is hitting .205 on the season but .250 in August.
“He sees himself getting better and he feels that,” Arizona third base coach Tony Perezchica said. “I think we can talk all we want, but if you don’t feel it, you don’t trust. He feels it, he feels that he belongs here, he feels that he’s definitely a player that can help us win.”
–Field Level Media
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