azcentral sports’ Sarah McLellan and Dan Bickley discuss the D-Backs’ difficulties on the road and the NBA’s big issue in the playoffs.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says defensive miscues cost them in a 5-2 loss to the Rockies on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker talks about his outing vs. the Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin was charged with eight runs in four-plus innings against the Rockies on Saturday night.
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Manager Torey Lovullo didn’t think his team played fundamentally sound in Saturday night’s 9-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke gave up two runs in seven innings in a win over the Rockies on Friday.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo breaks down his team’s win over the Rockies on Friday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Braden Shipley’s outing and his offense’s struggles vs. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Braden Shipley gave up three runs in four-plus innings against the Nationals on Thursday afternoon. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s inability to come up with a hit in a key situation on Wednesday night, May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray had everything working but still came away with a loss on Wednesday night in D.C., May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his pitching staff did well to hold the Nationals to three runs on Tuesday night.
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Taijuan Walker didn’t blame a small strike zone for his abbreviated, 4 2/3-inning outing on Tuesday night.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Rockets’ explosion against the Spurs and a possible pitching implosion for the Diamondbacks.
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Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock speaks about the controversial call that went against him in the 10th inning of Arizona’s win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso talks about his two-run, walk-off homer to beat the Rockies in the 13th inning on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s strong pitching fueling Arizona’s walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin talks about his strong, scoreless outing against the Rockies in Sunday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney talks about his outing vs. the Rockies, and says he’ll have no trouble bouncing back from his latest setback. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about his start on Saturday night, in which he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings vs. the Rockies. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller explains his decision to undergo Tommy John surgery, April 29, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Robbie Ray and catcher Chris Iannetta react to the loss.
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Chris Owings talks about the first multi-homer game of his career, and how he’s feeling at the plate after homering three times in the past four games.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker says his fastball was working well for him on Thursday night.
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Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
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Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
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David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
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First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
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Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand
Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ latest loss to Rockies
Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies
Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on ‘tough night’ at Coors Field
Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies
Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals
Braden Shipley after walking six in loss to Nationals
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo after loss to Nationals
Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ 6-3 win over Nationals
Taijuan Walker on his short start vs. Nationals
Shot Clock: Rockets sizzle, D-Backs fizzle?
A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”
Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies
Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win
Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies
Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save
Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery
Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies
Chris Owings on his two-homer night
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
The Diamondbacks and Tigers open a 2-game series at Chase Field on Tuesday. Keep coming back for updates throughout the game.
Tigers bounce back to go up 5-3
The Tigers retook the lead in the fifth amid a three-run effort.
A Miguel Cabrera RBI double tied the score at 3 and put runners on second and third with just one out. Soon, the bases were loaded after left-hander Robbie Ray walked third baseman Nicholas Castellanos. But Ray converted a pivotal second out after striking out left fielder Justin Upton.
Ray, however, couldn’t sustain that momentum as right fielder Mike Mahtook singled to score two more runs. The Diamondbacks were able to get Castellanos out at third as he tried to advance.
Three in three
The Diamondbacks fell into an early hole with the Tigers getting a run in each of the first two innings Tuesday off left-hander Robbie Ray.
In the first, third baseman Nicholas Castellanos had a two-out RBI single to score center fielder Andrew Romine, who walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Next inning, catcher James McCann led off with a homer to center field to put the Tigers up 2-0.
But Arizona rallied in the third; first baseman Paul Goldschmidt knocked in center fielder A.J. Pollock, who led off the inning with a double, and then Goldschmidt barely beat out a tag at home plate to tie it at 2 after a Yasmany Tomas single.
The Tigers challenged the play, but the call on the field was upheld.
Later in the inning, second baseman Brandon Drury’s double scored Tomas.
Torey Lovullo feels special connection to Tigers
Torey Lovullo smacked his first career hit during his first major-league at-bat with the Tigers at Yankee Stadium, and his second knock was also memorable.
Deadlocked at 3 through 17 innings on Sept.11, 1988, Lovullo pushed the Tigers ahead by one run in the top of the 18th with his RBI single. But in just a matter of minutes, a 4-3 lead was flipped into a 5-4 loss after Claudell Washington launched a two-run homer to end the marathon.
“I went from about as high as you can feel to wanting to cry rather quickly,” Lovullo said. “But it was a good feeling for me to walk back into the dugout because one man was waiting for me. That was Sparky Anderson.”
Arizona’s manager reflected on his start with Detroit Tuesday with the Tigers visiting Chase Field for a brief two-game series, the organization’s first trip to the Valley since 2014. In total, Lovullo played 41 games with the Tigers before continuing his playing career with six other teams.
“I really loved my years there with them,” he said. “When we play the Tigers, no matter where I’m at, I always have a special fondness to that ball club.”
Being a family, on and off the field, is the type of atmosphere Lovullo remembers Anderson fostering as the team’s longtime manager, and he felt welcomed from the get-go. Lovullo called Anderson one of the best men he’s ever met.
“I remember this older man that had such a sensitive way about him turned into an absolute tiger, for a lack of a better word, for nine innings,” Lovullo said. “He had tremendous balance, and it’s just hard to believe he’s not here anymore. I thought he was going to live forever.”
The Diamondbacks used a familiar lineup Tuesday against the Tigers, sliding their regulars in their usual spots – in the field and the batting order – and Lovullo believes knowing what to expect can eliminate stress for a player.
“I think it’s the same for anybody in life,” he said. “When you’re going down the street to your favorite coffee shop, you know the route you’re going to take. You know the order you’re going to make. You know where you’re going to sit in the coffee house. We’re all creatures of habits, and these players are the same way. … It’s just a good frame of mind when you know what’s going on every single day before you walk into the ballpark. Helps you get mentally prepared for the moment.”
In a groove
Arizona won just twice on its now-completed six-game road trip to Washington and Colorado.
Starter Zack Greinke was on the mound for one victory.
Left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland, who needed only 11 pitches to toss a scoreless 1 1/3 innings May 2 against the Nationals en route to a 6-3 win.
McFarland made two more appearances on the trip, throwing another scoreless inning the next game and then giving up one run in two innings Saturday against the Rockies.
Overall, he’s 1-0 in four games with a 1.69 ERA since getting added from Triple-A Reno at the end of April.
“He’s throwing the ball very well,” Lovullo said. “It seems like he’s gotten his delivery in sync. I know when he came to spring training he was a little behind. I know that he was a work in progress and started to throw the ball very, very well for us when he was sent out at the end of camp and seemed to really pick up some momentum when he was sent out to Reno.
“That continues to be the case. Quick, easy outs. Extremely, extremely good two-seam fastball and can pitch in any type of situation. I wouldn’t be afraid to put him in a leverage moment.”
If the Diamondbacks need a detailed scouting report on Wednesday’s starter for the Tigers, third baseman Jake Lamb could probably offer up plenty of insight.
Lamb and Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd grew up competing against each other in Washington before both joined Pac-12 schools, with Lamb representing the University of Washington and Boyd attending Oregon State.
“I never played against him in the minor leagues, but I’m always keeping up with local guys whether it’s checking on Twitter or checking MLB, MiLB.com,” Lamb said. “Yeah, it’s just cool. We go to the same trainer type thing in the offseason, so we catch up. We talk about the season. We talk about all that stuff. It’s cool.”
This may be the Diamondbacks’ first meeting with the Tigers since 2014, but Lovullo is quite familiar with right-hander Justin Verlander from his previous coaching stints in the American League with the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
“I’ve seen him for a lot of years. I’ve watched him in some incredibly big games and incredibly big moments,” Lovullo said. “An intense competitor that is not going to back down from anything, and he’s going to fight you until the last pitch he makes. I think that’s a challenge that every team should embrace, and I think our guys will be ready for that win or lose.”
Verlander has made only two career starts against Arizona and has won both games, posting a 1.84 ERA and striking out 19.
LHP Robbie Ray gets the start for Arizona, with Jeff Mathis catching.
Here’s the complete Diamondbacks’ lineup:
- The Diamondbacks are 12-5 at home and own the third-best home win percentage in the Majors (.706).
- First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .390 over his last 17 games with four doubles, five home runs, 20 RBIs and 11 walks.
- This is the Diamondbacks’ first matchup against the Tigers since they hosted Detroit in 2014. Overall, this is the Tigers’ sixth visit to Phoenix with the Diamondbacks winning four of the five series (9-6 record).
MLB POWER RANKINGS: Home sweet home for Diamondbacks?
Get to know the Detroit Tigers
The Tigers enter the series with a 15-15 record. They haven’t won more than three in a row this season and haven’t lost more than four. They were beaten in walkoff fashion in consecutive games in Oakland over the weekend. They are averaging 5.0 runs per game, the second-best mark in the American League and fifth-best in the majors.
Their pitching, however, has been the worst in the majors with a 4.83 ERA, numbers dragged down by the Tigers bullpen, which ranks last with a 5.93 ERA.
While closer RHP Francisco Rodriguez has allowed 11 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings, several Tigers relievers actually have thrown well, including LHP Justin Wilson, RHP Shane Greene and RHP Alex Wilson.
Left fielder Justin Upton has the best numbers of any of the Tigers’ regulars, hitting .264/.385/.484 with five homers. 3B Nick Castellanos also is producing, with 16 extra-base hits, including 10 doubles.
More D-Backs: Godley tabbed to start Wednesday against Tigers
Tigers at Diamondbacks
When: 6:40 p.m.
Where: Chase Field (Roof hotline: 602-462-6262).
Pitchers: Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (2-2, 3.47) vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.21).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Ray was dominant in his outing last week in Washington, giving up two runs in six innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts. … He has struck out at least six in each of his six starts, reaching 10 strikeouts twice. … This will be Ray’s first time facing the Tigers, with whom he made his major league debut in 2014. The Diamondbacks acquired him in a three-team deal that sent SS Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees. … Verlander has thrown well in his past two starts, giving up two earned runs combined in 14 innings against the Mariners and Indians. … He has thrown 107 pitches or more four times already this season. … He averaged 95.3 mph with his fastball in April, the highest it has been in the season’s first month since 2011.
More D-Backs: Taking a look back at that Max Scherzer trade
Wednesday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (0-0, 3.60) vs. Tigers LHP Matt Boyd (2-2, 3.78).
Thursday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.09) vs. Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.54).
Friday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (2-4, 3.89) vs. Pirates RHP Garrit Cole (1-3, 3.14).
More D-Backs: Diamondbacks pleased with catchers’ contributions
More D-Backs: Greinke’s slider key to bounce-back season