The Arizona Diamondbacks just failed a three-game test against the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arizona now looks to rebound with a better showing against the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles when the teams open a three-game slate on Friday night in Phoenix.
The Diamondbacks lost all three games in Los Angeles and were whipped by a cumulative 23-5 score.
Making it feel worse is that Arizona was red hot entering the series with 10 wins in a 12-game span.
“It’s been a long couple of days,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after Wednesday’s 7-0 loss.
Arizona enters September firmly in the hunt for an NL wild-card spot. The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs currently hold the top two spots with the Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins also in the mix.
Lovullo feels his club is up for the challenge.
“I think we’ve been a very resilient team,” Lovullo said. “We know that we’re a good team and our guys are frustrated right now. … So I know they’re wearing it, but I want them to turn the page because we can’t do a darn thing about it. We know we didn’t play good here.”
Friday’s contest is the start of a six-game homestand. Arizona also plays three games against the Colorado Rockies, who possess the worst record in the NL.
Baltimore just finished a 6-3 homestand and holds a 1 1/2-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Orioles are a whopping 33 games above .500 and only an epic collapse can prevent them from claiming a postseason spot for the first time since 2016.
Baltimore went 18-9 in August and is beginning a nine-game road trip. The Orioles will play three games in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels and close the trip with three against the Boston Red Sox.
Baltimore won the first two games of a three-game set against the Chicago White Sox by a combined 18-3. But the Orioles lost Wednesday’s finale 10-5.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde wasn’t discouraged by the loss.
“You look at it as the total picture, you take a 6-3 homestand,” Hyde said. “We’re going to enjoy an off-day (Thursday) and go play the Diamondbacks.”
With rosters expanding Friday, the Orioles will reportedly recall outfielder Colton Cowser from Triple-A Norfolk for his second big-league stint. The 23-year-old Cowser, the organization’s No. 2 prospect, hit just .115 with 22 strikeouts over 61 at-bats in 26 games with Baltimore earlier this season.
Left-hander Cole Irvin (1-3, 4.78 ERA) will start the opener for the Orioles against right-hander Zach Davies (1-5, 6.93) of the Diamondbacks.
Irvin, 29, will be making his 12th start of the season. He received a no-decision against the Rockies on Aug. 25 when he gave up four runs and six hits over six innings.
Irvin has never faced the Diamondbacks during his five-year career. Arizona’s Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 2-for-7 against Irvin when the former was with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 30-year-old Davies is making his second start since returning from a back injury that sidelined him five-plus weeks. He gave up one run and five hits over five innings in a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
Davies is making his 14th start of the season. He has allowed 71 hits and walked 29 in 62 1/3 innings.
Davies has never faced the Orioles during a nine-year career in which he has pitched for four National League teams. Baltimore’s Adam Frazier is 10-for-29 against Davies.
Baltimore and Arizona last played in 2019 when the Diamondbacks took two of three in Phoenix.
–Field Level Media