(Sports Network) - fter missing out on an opportunity to make up ground in
the NL wild card race, the Arizona Diamondbacks begin the last leg of their
10-game road trip on Friday night with the first of three straight meetings
with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Diamondbacks have gone 3-4 on their swing so far and are coming off a
series loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Arizona dropped three of four in the set,
with Thursday's 2-1 setback dropping it seven games behind Cincinnati for the
league's second wild card spot.
The D'backs were undone by wildness in the finale. Trevor Cahill was charged
with three wild pitches in the third inning, helping Cincinnati score its
first run, and the Reds plated the winning run in the eighth frame thanks in
part to a throwing error on a pick-off attempt and another wild pitch by
reliever Eury De La Rosa.
"They scored both their runs off wild pitches," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson
said. "That's tough to swallow."
The Diamondbacks led the NL West as recent as July 21, but have gone 14-14
since and now trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by 9 1/2 games for the top spot.
Arizona will get the benefit of starting surging left-hander Wade Miley as the
club has won each of his last five outings. Miley is 3-0 with a 2.00 earned
run average over that span and is coming off his second straight no-decision.
The 26-year-old held the Pittsburgh Pirates to a pair of runs over eight
innings last Sunday, striking out eight. He has not lost since July 20 and now
stands 9-8 on the year with a 3.56 ERA in 25 starts.
Miley will face the Phillies for only the second time in his career, having
bested them back on April 23 of last year in Arizona. He hurled six scoreless
frames of two-hit ball with seven strikeouts.
Philadelphia turns to its own streaking hurler in Cole Hamels, who is 3-2 over
his last nine starts with a 2.05 ERA. He followed up a complete-game victory
over the Atlanta Braves with a no-decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers on
Sunday. Hamels logged seven innings and gave up two runs on seven hits without
a walk, striking out eight.
The 29-year-old southpaw is 5-13 with a 3.61 ERA in 26 starts this year,
including a loss in Arizona on May 9. He gave up two runs on six hits and five
walks over six innings.
Hamels is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career meetings with the D'backs.
The Phillies picked up just their second series win since the All-Star break,
taking three of four over the Colorado Rockies. They won the final two games
of that set in walk-off fashion, winning Thursday's finale 5-4.
Darin Ruf hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to make it a one-run
deficit and the Phils rallied for two runs with two outs in the ninth. Jimmy
Rollins doubled down the first-base line and stole third, coming home on
Michael Young's dribbler past the pitcher's mound.
Following a walk by Chase Utley, Domonic Brown drove in the winner with a
single to right.
"I think there's a sense that good things can happen with the positive energy
and the guys pulling for each other," Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg
said. "The guys are having quality at-bats and rising to the occasion."
The Phillies have won four of their last five overall and are 9-22 since the
The Diamondbacks and Phillies split a four-game series in Arizona from May
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