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News » Cardinals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-15

Cardinals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-15

Cardinals-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-15
Early this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have only been as good as their lineup.

Without consistent hitting in consecutive games, they haven't been very good.

A night after the Diamondbacks' bats emerged from a slump to help them end a three-game skid, they'll hope to stay hot Wednesday afternoon when they play the decisive third game of their series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

Arizona (3-5) has scored two runs or fewer in each of its five losses, but put nine runs on the board in each of its first two wins. The Diamondbacks had another solid offensive showing Tuesday night against the Cardinals (6-3).

Arizona couldn't get anything going for three innings against St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter, but after Carpenter left with a ribcage injury manager Bob Melvin's team started to hit. The Diamondbacks tied a season high with 12 hits - including homers from Mark Reynolds and Conor Jackson - before Eric Byrnes' RBI single in the 10th gave them a 7-6 win.

"I know as a team we just haven't been able to get the bats going," said Justin Upton, whose first hit of the season snapped him out of an 0-for-14 slump. "But to see guys like Eric and myself, guys who have been struggling, get some hits, that was big for us."

Carpenter's injury - he's expected to land on the disabled list - may have opened the door for Arizona on Tuesday, but the Diamondbacks will have a tough task again in the series finale. St. Louis' starters are 6-1 with a major league-best 1.96 ERA.

Joel Pineiro (1-0, 2.70 ERA) will get the ball Wednesday looking to build on a solid season debut. The right-hander went 6 2-3 innings Friday against Houston, allowing two runs and eight hits in the Cardinals' 5-3 win.

"I've been working on (my) sinker, throwing it most of the time and letting the defense work behind me," Pineiro, who went 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA in spring training, told the Cardinals' official Web site. "It's been great so far. The main thing is staying healthy and going out there and doing what I need to do."

One thing Pineiro has going for him is his great numbers against three of Arizona's big hitters. Byrnes, Reynolds and Jackson are a combined 2-for-26 in their careers versus Pineiro.

Jon Garland (1-0, 3.86) will be looking for a good follow-up to his Diamondbacks debut, when he allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings in a 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

"You want to go out and put up the numbers and give your team a chance to win in that first one, and you kind of want to prove yourself to a new team," Garland told Arizona's official Web site. "You really want to show them what you want."

Garland faces a St. Louis offense that's averaging 5.1 runs and features the NL's leading run producer, Albert Pujols. The reigning league MVP is off to another excellent start, hitting .364 with four homers and 11 RBIs.

Pujols, though, is 0-for-3 in his career against Garland.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 15, 2009

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