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News » Diamondbacks-Braves Preview 2009-05-17


Diamondbacks-Braves Preview 2009-05-17


Diamondbacks-Braves Preview 2009-05-17
The Arizona Diamondbacks' sluggish offense is starting to show some signs of life.

The Diamondbacks look to build off their highest scoring game of the season and win two in a row for the first time in two weeks when they wrap up their weekend series against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Arizona (13-23) entered Saturday's game last in the majors in runs (132) and batting average (.232), but had little trouble generating offense against the Braves (18-18). The Diamondbacks finished with 11 hits and nine walks en route to a 12-0 victory that snapped a four-game losing streak.

Chris Snyder hit a grand slam and matched a career high with five RBIs, while rookie Gerardo Parra collected a season-high three hits for Arizona, which won for just the third time in 13 contests. The Diamondbacks have not won back-to-back games since the first two days of this month.

"It's a big win," Snyder said. "We scored a lot of runs. That's what we need. We need some momentum. We need some confidence."

Arizona's offense appears to be breaking out of its funk. The Diamondbacks have scored at least five runs in half of their last six games after scoring four or less in each of their previous eight.

Duplicating Saturday's offensive outburst won't be easy, though, with Derek Lowe (5-1, 3.80 ERA) set to take the mound for Atlanta.

Lowe allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday - the third time he's yielded two runs or less during his four-start winning streak. The right-hander has won four consecutive starts five times in his 13-year career but has never won five in a row.

Lowe, in his first season with the Braves after spending the previous four with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has giving up two runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts against Arizona. The sinkerballer has thrown 14 shutout innings in winning his last two starts versus the Diamondbacks and went 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA in five outings against them last season.

The Braves dropped to 7-3 in their last 10 games with Saturday's loss.

Atlanta relievers walked eight batters in four innings, with Jeff Bennett and Buddy Carlyle forcing in runs with bases-loaded walks in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Held without a run for the first time since April 18, the Braves hope to bounce back against Jon Garland (3-2, 5.18).

After throwing seven scoreless innings in a 3-1 win at San Diego on May 6, Garland was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings of Monday's 13-5 loss to Cincinnati.

Garland has proven to be effective when he's making his pitches but has been knocked around when he leaves the ball up in the strike zone. The right-hander has posted a 2.62 ERA in his five starts Arizona has won but has yielded 14 runs in 7 1-3 innings in his two losses.

In his only career start against the Braves on June 13, Garland allowed five runs and 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-2 loss for the Los Angeles Angels.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 17, 2009

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