Diamondbacks at Reds
The Arizona Diamondbacks are facing their first serious adversity of the season as they continue their road trip with a three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds beginning Tuesday. Arizona (53-39) has lost five straight -- getting outscored 28-10 -- and dropped 11 of its last 14 games after getting swept in Atlanta over the weekend but still owns a sizable advantage for one of the two wild card spots in the National League.
"This is a very resilient group," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after Sunday's 7-1 loss. "They have been all year. They should be proud of where they're at. We know we've hit a little stumbling block, and that's part of the season. That happens in every baseball season, so we'll enjoy the day off (Monday) and see what we can do on Day 1 in Cincinnati." The Reds (39-53) were outscored 35-12 in a four-game sweep by the Washington Nationals, culminating with Monday's 6-1 loss. Cincinnati took two of three from Arizona at Chase Field from July 7-9 with Joey Votto (26 home runs, 68 RBIs, .308 batting average) recording two homers and six RBIs among his three hits in the series. The Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray continues his breakout season while making his first start since July 6 and opposes rookie Sal Romano, who is coming off his first major league victory and will be recalled from Triple-A Louisville to make his third career start.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Robbie Ray (8-4, 2.97 ERA) vs. Reds RH Sal Romano (1-1, 4.50)
Ray received a no-decision after matching a career high with 13 strikeouts and allowing one run, five hits and four walks in six innings of Arizona's 5-4 loss at Dodger Stadium on July 6. The 25-year-old Tennessee native was tied for fifth in baseball entering Monday with 141 strikeouts and his ERA ranked eighth. Ray is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts versus Cincinnati, allowing six runs (three earned) and striking out 10 in a 6-1 setback last July.
Romano yielded two runs, six hits and one walk while striking out six in five innings of a 6-3 victory in Colorado on July 6. "You dream to get here, to get the first win is pretty special,'' the 23-year-old New Yorker and 23rd round draft pick in 2011 told reporters. "Not just for me but my family, too. This one was fun." Romano permitted three runs (two earned), three hits and four walks in three innings of a 4-2 loss to Milwaukee on April 16 in his major league debut.
1. Arizona CF A.J. Pollock is hitting .391 with 11 stolen bases in 69 at-bats over 17 games and is 13-for-23 at Great American Ballpark.
2. Reds All-Star SS Zack Cozart (.306 batting average) went 0-for-8 with three walks while playing three of the four games versus Washington.
3. Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt extended his career-long road hitting streak to 15 games after going 2-for-3 on Sunday. He is batting .415 with five home runs and 17 RBIs during the run.