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May 13, 2024 7:52 am

Ascending Diamondbacks ready for rematch vs. reeling Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks swept three games from the Cincinnati Reds last week.

The Diamondbacks will attempt to do it again this week, beginning with Monday night’s series opener between the teams in Phoenix.

Arizona outscored the Reds 15-9 in sweeping a road set last Tuesday through Thursday.

That sweep is a big part of why the Diamondbacks have won five of their past seven games to follow a stretch in which they dropped 11 of 16.

The two most recent setbacks came at the start of a three-game weekend series in Baltimore. But Arizona recovered to post a 9-2 victory in Sunday’s finale.

“I think any time you can salvage a series on the third day, it’s big,” said Diamondbacks infielder Kevin Newman, who spent last season with the Reds. “Now, (we’re) taking it into this homestand that we’re going to have now and hopefully, we’ll build on it and get some wins at home.”

Arizona will host the Detroit Tigers for three games following the set against the Reds.

Cincinnati has lost 10 of its last 11 games after losing two of three to the San Francisco Giants to begin a 10-game road trip. The Reds lost 6-5 in 10 innings on Sunday.

Cincinnati has allowed five or more runs seven times during the 11-game stretch. The Reds have scored two or fewer runs six times during the span.

“Right now we’re in a tough stretch,” bench coach Freddie Benavides said after Sunday’s loss. “We’re not playing (how) we’re capable of.”

Benavides handled the managing duties Sunday after David Bell had to exit due to a stomach issue.

Cincinnati right-hander Graham Ashcraft (3-2, 3.86 ERA) will oppose Arizona left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 4.70) on Monday for the second time in six nights.

Montgomery earned the win during a 4-3 triumph Wednesday as he gave up two runs and seven hits through seven innings. He struck out two and walked two.

“It was good to get back out there and have better results,” said Montgomery, who gave up six runs in three innings in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous turn.

Ashcraft gave up three runs and six hits in five-plus innings against Arizona on Wednesday and took the loss when Gabriel Moreno delivered a tiebreaking single against reliever Fernando Cruz. Ashcraft walked three and struck out two.

Ashcraft is winless over his last three starts despite giving up only four earned runs in 17 1/3 innings.

The 26-year-old is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (2-for-6) has a homer off Ashcraft, while Ketel Marte is 3-for-8. Joc Pederson is just 1-for-11 against Ashcraft.

Meanwhile, Montgomery is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA in five career starts against the Reds.

Stuart Fairchild (3-for-9) and Spencer Steer (2-for-10) each have homered against Montgomery. Tyler Stephenson is 4-for-6 against him.

Cincinnati outfielder TJ Friedl was hit on his left thumb by Kyle Harrison’s first pitch of the game Sunday and left after the top of the first inning. He stayed in the game to run the bases and score before departing.

X-rays were inconclusive, per the Reds, and Friedl is slated to visit a hand specialist in Arizona on Monday.

Sunday was just Friedl’s sixth game of the campaign after he missed five-plus weeks due to a fractured wrist sustained during sprain training. He is batting .182 in 22 at-bats.

–Field Level Media

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