The Arizona Diamondbacks eventually overcame their woes with runners in scoring position to complete an extra-inning comeback against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
They're hoping that won't be necessary Sunday when rookie Chase Anderson takes the mound at Chase Field looking to join some elite company.
Arizona (27-37) was hitless in its first 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position Saturday before pinch-hitter Aaron Hill doubled in the tying run against Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the ninth. Gerardo Parra drove in the winning run with a broken-bat bloop single in the 11th in a 4-3 victory.
Miguel Montero homered for the third straight game, tying the game again in the 10th after Jason Heyward gave Atlanta the lead with a solo home run in the top half. Montero has 11 RBIs over his last 10 contests for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of five.
Anderson (4-0, 3.32 ERA) is the fifth rookie since 1998 to win his first four starts. Only two - Jered Weaver with the Angels in 2006 and Kazuhisa Ishii with the Dodgers in 2002 - won their first five. Weaver recorded a victory in his first seven outings while Ishii won his first six.
Anderson limited Colorado to one run on a homer and three other hits over six innings in a 4-2 road victory Tuesday. He's allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his four games.
"He's been throwing the ball good ever since he's been up here," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's official website.
The Braves haven't faced a rookie starter this season, though rookie hurlers were 9-14 in 32 starts against them in 2013.
Kimbrel, who became the franchise's all-time saves leader in Friday's 5-2 victory, had allowed just one unearned run over nine appearances since his previous blown save.
"He's human, right?" manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Atlanta (32-28) hopes Aaron Harang (4-4, 3.24) can end his recent woes against the Diamondbacks. He's 0-4 in his last six starts against them with a 6.19 ERA after posting a 1.82 ERA in his previous 10.
Harang has three quality starts in his past four outings but is winless in that span, receiving just seven runs of support. He threw 6 2-3 innings in Sunday's 4-2 win at Miami, with both runs against him coming on a homer. The right-hander issued four walks after walking four batters total in his previous four outings.
Montero is 10 for 18 off Harang while Paul Goldschmidt is 5 for 10.
Atlanta's Evan Gattis has 10 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak after going 3 for 5 with two doubles Saturday, while Heyward has driven in 11 runs and has four homers during an 11-game streak.
Martin Prado was 3 for 5 Saturday, improving to 13 for 25 during a six-game hitting streak. He's hit safely in all eight career matchups with his former club, going 12 for 29 against the Braves.
A win Sunday would bring the Diamondbacks the closest they've been to .500 since starting 5-14.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Atlanta Braves
- Chase Anderson
- Craig Kimbrel
- Miguel Montero