The Arizona Diamondbacks aim to match a season-high winning streak on Monday night when they begin a nine-game road trip with the opener of a three-game series versus the Oakland Athletics.
The Diamondbacks answered a season-high three-game skid by winning the final three contests of a four-game series against San Francisco. Arizona posted a 2-1 victory on Sunday to move one win shy of its season-high winning streak, which was set from April 7-10.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. looped an RBI double into the left field corner to plate Christian Walker with the winning run in the ninth inning on Sunday. Gurriel has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, going 14-for-31 with four doubles, four homers, 11 runs, eight RBIs and six walks in that stretch.
Gabriel Moreno had two of the Diamondbacks’ four hits to improve his batting average to a robust .320 on the season.
Moreno’s strong performance aside, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo credited his team’s perseverance despite not putting forth its best overall effort.
“To get to where we’re going, we’ve got to beat guys like that and we’ve got to win games like that,” Lovullo said, speaking of Logan Webb, the Giants’ starting pitcher Sunday. “As you push it forward, you’re starting to play meaningful games late, you’re going to see good arms and good pitching.
“I just want our guys to train for the opposing team’s best effort.”
While Arizona is ascending, Oakland continued to plummet on Sunday by allowing an eight-run eighth inning in an 11-3 setback to the visiting Texas Rangers. The Athletics didn’t help themselves by committing four errors en route to losing for the seventh time in eight games.
“It was a poor defensive day,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
The Athletics have yielded 10-plus runs on 15 occasions this season. As a result, they find themselves languishing with a majors-worst 9-33 record.
The Diamondbacks will turn to Merrill Kelly (3-3, 3.18 ERA) to start Monday’s clash against fellow right-hander Drew Rucinski (0-3, 8.16).
Kelly, 34, had won two straight starts and retired the first 10 batters he faced on Wednesday before settling for a no-decision against the Miami Marlins. He allowed four runs on as many hits in six innings versus the Marlins.
Kelly lost his lone career start versus Oakland on Aug. 19, 2020, after allowing four runs on five hits in five innings.
Kelly will need to keep a keen eye on Shea Langeliers, who went deep on Sunday to highlight his three-RBI performance.
Rucinski, 34, sustained his third loss in as many outings on Tuesday after permitting seven runs (five earned) in five innings of a 10-5 setback to the New York Yankees.
Rucinski, who is seeking his first win since July 4, 2018, retired the lone batter he faced in his lone career relief appearance against Arizona.
He’ll need to tread carefully around Ketel Marte, who saw his 14-game on-base streak and eight-game hitting streak come to a halt on Sunday.
–Field Level Media