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Apr 11, 2024 9:24 pm

Diamondbacks look to add to momentum vs. Cardinals

Eugenio Suarez

After winning their last two games against the Colorado Rockies, the Arizona Diamondbacks returned home in better spirits to host the St. Louis Cardinals.

Prior to that, Arizona was mired in a five-game losing streak that included three road losses to the Braves.

“It’s great to go home with the series win in our pocket,” Arizona third baseman Eugenio Suarez said. “It was a little bit tough in Atlanta, but we played really good baseball. We just got to go home and keep playing like this.”

The Diamondbacks will face the Cardinals in a three-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix that begins Friday night. St. Louis hits the road after going 3-3 on its homestand against the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies.

“They’re gonna be tough to play,” Diamondbacks reliever Kevin Ginkel said. “I know St. Louis has always been tough against me, but I’m ready for it and I think this team is ready for it. It’ll be nice to get the off day as well so everybody can rest and reset.”

The Diamondbacks will open the series with Brandon Pfaadt (1-0, 5.06 ERA) on the mound.

He allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, a 9-8 loss to the Braves in Atlanta. He struck out seven and walked one.

Pfaadt won his first start of the season against Colorado, holding the Rockies to one run on five hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked nobody.

This will be Pfaddt’s first career start against the Cardinals, who are battling an early-season hitting slump. They ranked in the lower tier of the majors in batting average (.219) and home runs (11) through Wednesday’s games.

“Offensively, we’re going to fight through it and get to where we need to get to,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who spent his first eight seasons with the Diamondbacks, is hitting .182 with a .544 on-base plus slugging percentage. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has a .570 OPS and he hasn’t hit a home run since Aug, 19 of last year.

“It’s not a lack of work, I’ll tell you that — this guy’s getting after it,” Marmol said of Arenado. “He’s going to get back to where he feels comfortable in the box and doing what he does — which is damage.”

St. Louis hopes to get a lift from outfielder Lars Nootbaar’s return from the injured list. He has been sidelined since suffering cracked ribs while crashing into an outfield wall during an exhibition game.

Nootbaar completed a minor league rehabilitation assignment this week.

“The big thing for him is controlling the strike zone and when he feels confident, to not be swinging at stuff out of the zone, that’s when he feels pretty good about himself,” Marmol said.

The Cardinals will start Steven Matz (1-0, 1.74 ERA) on Friday as he comes off a 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Saturday. He threw five scoreless innings in that start, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three.

He is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in six career starts against the Diamondbacks.

–Field Level Media

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