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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-15

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-15

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-15
Chad Qualls has replaced Brandon Lyon as the Diamondbacks' closer down the stretch.

Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin made the decision Saturday, after Lyon gave up two runs on four hits in the ninth inning against Cincinnati on Friday and had to be bailed out by Qualls, who retired the final batter to save a 3-2 victory.

Lyon has converted 26 of his 31 save opportunities in his first season replacing Jose Valverde, who was traded to Houston in a four-player deal that included Qualls last winter, but Lyon has given up 14 earned runs in his last 10 2/3 innings.

The D-backs have lost 17 games this season in which they led after seven innings after losing only six games in those situations last year.

Lyon, who gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 4-3 loss at San Francisco on Wednesday, is 2-5 with a 5.13 ERA this season. He made 24 consecutive scoreless appearances in a streak that ended in mid-June but has an 11.57 ERA after the All-Star break.

"He totally understood," Melvin said. "All he wants to do is help this team win. In that respect, he took it like a pro. He's about as accountable a guy as I've ever had in the bullpen."

Qualls, 4-8 with a 3.06 ERA, has converted three of his 11 save opportunities, although most of his blown saves came when he lost leads in the seventh or eighth innings. He has been scored on only once in his last 19 appearances.

"I'm glad I've got the opportunity. I think I've earned it," Qualls said. "Now I have a chance to throw in the ninth. I've just got to keep doing what I've been doing."

REDS 2, DIAMONDBACKS 1 (10 innings): RHP Jon Rauch gave up a home run to OF Corey Patterson with out in the 10th inning as the D-backs lost for the eighth time in nine games to remain 4 1/2 games behind Los Angeles in the NL West with 14 games remaining. The D-backs had 10 hits but scored only on OF Justin Upton's solo homer, his first since returning from an oblique strain Aug. 29. The D-backs left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings and stranded 17 runners. They were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Rauch, 0-6 since joining the D-backs on July 22, has given up 10 earned runs in his last 10 innings over 12 appearances.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 15, 2008

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