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17/09/2018 02:45 Unread message

PHOENIX — Crack the door Lavonte
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, and these days the Arizona Diamondbacks will blow right
Three times in their last four games, Arizona has made an opponent pay and pay and pay for a blunder here or a miscue there.
The Diamondbacks did it again Tuesday, when they took advantage of three throwing errors in a six-run first inning for the impetus needed for a 13-8
victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. The game was not decided
until Jon Jay’s three-run homer in the seventh inning, but the decisive first
inning helped them build an 8-0 lead.
“Those are some of the characteristics of a good team, that when they sniff a little blood, they are going to go out there and execute,” Arizona manager Torey
Lovullo said. “When you get second chances in this game, you have to take
advantage. Our guys are ready for that.
“We talk about them (opponents) being in their most vulnerable state when they are making mistakes, and we have to be ready. It’s not a good feeling when
you are on the (other) side of it and it is not going well. But when you are
executing and fighting back a little bit, it is very gratifying.”
Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke, who has lost only one of his last 25 starts at Chase Field, will oppose Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon in the
final game of the series Wednesday.
The Pirates have lost eight straight series, and a failure to execute has hurt in the first two games of this series. They blew a 5-0 lead entering the
seventh inning in a 9-5 loss Monday, when the Diamondbacks combined timely
hitting and extra benefits, including hit
batter Joey Bosa
, an infield error, two wild pitches and a balk.
First baseman Josh Bell and second baseman Josh Harrison had throwing errors and pitcher Trevor Williams made an errant pickoff throw in the first inning
Tuesday around two singles and Ketel Marte’s two-out, two-run triple. Five of
the six runs were unearned.
“We didn’t handle the ball like we needed to handle the ball,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “We weren’t able to execute defensively the way we
needed to execute defensively. We’ve got work to do. We are not playing at the
level we are capable of playing.”
Arizona scored six runs in the eighth inning of a 12-7 victory at Colorado on Saturday, capitalizing on a double-error by reliever Bryan Shaw early in the
inning. Only one of those six runs was earned.
“That’s what you have to do,” said Jay, who had his first three hits in his fifth game with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. “When you have chances, you have to
make the most out of the opportunities. We’ve been able to do that the last
couple of days, and we just have to keep it going.
“I think that’s the mentality they have here. I saw that last year playing on the other side. That’s just the mentality you have to have.”
The Diamondbacks have scored 51 runs in their five-game winning streak, with heavy contributions from Paul Goldschmidt and Marte. Goldschmidt is hitting .477
with five homers and 12 RBIs in the last 11 games, with six multi-hit games.
Marte is hitting .389 with 11 extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in the last 11. He hit
his NL-leading seventh triple Tuesday.
Greinke (5-4, 3.53 ERA) has won his last two decisions and is 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA and a .229 opponents’ batting average since beating the Dodgers at Chase
Field on April 30. He is undefeated at home this season, going 3-0 with a 1.64
ERA in seven starts while continuing the success he had at home last year.
Greinke was 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 home starts in 2017.
Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field last season, losing it when Gregory Polanco led off
with a homer down the right-field line. Greinke struck out 11 and walked one in
that game, his lone start against the Pirates last season. He is 7-3 with a 4.59
ERA in 11 career starts against the
Pirates Chandler
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, about half of those games coming when he was with
Milwaukee in 2011-12.
Taillon (3-5, 4.08) has been effective for the most part, but a few rocky outings this season caused his ERA to jump over 4.00. He has given up three runs
or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts, but has given up five, seven and six in the
other three.
After winning his first two decisions and giving up two earned runs in his first 20 2/3 innings, Taillon is 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA. He has not faced the
Diamondbacks in his three seasons.
CHICAGO — At times this season, the Chicago Cubs have struggled to produce offensively, especially when it comes to situational hitting that turned hits
into runs.
But as the Cubs prepare to open a brief two-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday at Wrigley Field, any concerns about run production seems to
have subsided. At least for now.
The Cubs will carry a four-game winning streak into Tuesday after producing 46 runs during their winning streak, which they extended with an 11-10 victory
over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Although the bullpen struggled to protect leads at times, the Cubs’ bats did more than their fair share. Now, the Cubs will attempt to remain hot against the
Tigers, who have won two straight but have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
The Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Monday.
After Sunday’s victory, the Cubs found themselves leading the majors in hitting (.266) and on-base percentage (.345). Despite the times this season when
the hits weren’t coming, the Cubs haven’t experienced any change in confidence
now that they’re averaging more than 10 per game in their last four games.
“We’ve been the same offense for quite some time now Howie Long
,” Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber said Sunday, according to the
Chicago Tribune. “Things happen. We’re just going to keep this going.”
Cubs pitchers have enjoyed plenty of run support of late, which is something Tuesday’s starter, Kyle Hendricks, wouldn’t mind seeing continue against the
Tigers. Hendricks (5-8, 4.21 ERA) has experienced inconsistency this season and
has battled his mechanics all the way through.
Hendricks went 1-4 in June and is coming off an outing in which he allowed a season-worst six runs in just 2 2/3 innings on June 27 against the Los Angeles
He hopes to right the ship in a new month against a team that has struggled offensively during their recent skid. Hendricks will face the Tigers for the
first time in his career.
“I’m just searching right now — it’s just bad,” Hendricks told reporters after his last start, according to the team’s official website. “Mechanics, I’m
trying to focus mentally and going pitch to pitch and I’m doing that, but
something’s just off. I’m searching now.”
The Tigers’ back-to-back victories come after their losing streak reached a season-high 11 games. With Miguel Cabrera out for the season and other veterans
like Victor Martinez struggling at the plate, manager Ron Gardenhire has been
forced to work with a lineup full of young hitters.
Before snapping the skid with a victory Sunday over the Blue Jays, the Tigers finished June hitting .222.
“We’ve had a lot of struggles offensively, for sure,” Gardenhire said Sunday, according to the Detroit Free Press. “I think our pitching has held up OK. (The)
bullpen had its good and bad moments.
Offensively Jalyn
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, we’ve really scuffled, especially the past couple week
here. We all know that. Offensively, we have to get a lot better. More
On Monday, the Tigers placed closer Shane Greene on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Joe Jimenez, who is considered the Tigers’ closer
of the future, will move into the role for the time being, Gardenhire said.
Jiménez has a 2.77 ERA, 44 strikeouts and nine walks in 42 appearances covering
39 innings.
Michael Fulmer (3-7, 4.20) will start Tuesday for the Tigers. Like Hendricks, Fulmer struggled in June, losing three of his five starts with a no-decision.
Fulmer will face the Cubs for the first time in his
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