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News » Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview 2009-04-30

Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview 2009-04-30

Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview 2009-04-30
The Arizona Diamondbacks spend spring training a few hours outside of Phoenix, and have barely had to leave Chase Field so far in 2009.

With the way they've played at home, an eight-game road trip suddenly doesn't seem so unwelcome.

A visit to Miller Park might be, though, and a four-game series against the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers beginning Friday night will be the Diamondbacks' first challenge after spending most of the young season at home.

Arizona (9-12) had a great chance to get off to a solid start in the NL West by facing division opponents 15 times and playing all but three of their first 21 contests at Chase Field - the fourth time since 1900 a team has had that many April home games.

The Diamondbacks, though, have been merely mediocre in Arizona. They dropped five of their first nine games there before winning three of their past four - including two of three against Chicago this week.

Chad Tracy had three hits and three RBIs on Wednesday as Arizona recorded its biggest offensive output of the season to back up a two-hitter by Doug Davis and two relievers in a 10-0 win over the Cubs.

"Anytime you win a series, you feel good about your ballclub," Tracy told the team's official Web site. "I think it will be nice to get to Milwaukee, a little change of scenery, and try to keep the same approaches going."

Arizona may be arriving at Miller Park at the wrong time, however. The Brewers (11-10) got off to a 4-9 start but they've won seven of eight since, including a three-game home sweep of previously surging Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee couldn't string together any hits in Wednesday's series finale after averaging nearly six runs in its previous seven games, but Yovani Gallardo provided all the offense. The right-hander hit his second homer of the season in the seventh and struck out a career-high 11 over eight innings in the 1-0 victory.

Gallardo is the first pitcher to homer for a game's only run since Aug. 28, 2002, when Odalis Perez did it for the Los Angeles Dodgers at home against the Diamondbacks.

"I like hitting," Gallardo told the Brewers' official Web site. "Every time I get the opportunity in batting practice to take some swings, I'm always the first one out there."

Milwaukee seemed to like hitting against Max Scherzer (0-2, 4.91 ERA) in the right-hander's lone appearance at Miller Park. Scherzer gave up three runs - including homers to J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder - in one inning while mopping up Arizona's 7-1 loss on June 3.

Scherzer, who started seven games in 2008, is still looking for his first major-league win. He's dropped his past two games against San Francisco, most recently allowing four runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 5-3 loss on Saturday.

"It's just a matter of being out there deeper in games," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's going to get his share of wins. We expect him to be a top-of-the-rotation guy. It just hasn't happened yet for him to this point."

Jeff Suppan (1-2, 7.32) has the highest ERA of any Brewers starter, and he battled some wildness Saturday at Houston in Milwaukee's 9-8 loss in 11 innings. The veteran right-hander gave up only four hits, but two of those were homers and he also walked four.

Suppan is 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight career starts versus Arizona.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009

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