Current Conditions - Cincinnati
Partly sunny 88 °F
Wind: S 9.2
Arizona Diamondbacks (40-56) at Cincinnati Reds (37-59)
Saturday, July 23 - 7:10 PM EST
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Reds can clinch a fourth victory in their last five series when the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks visit on Saturday for the second of a three-game set. The Reds, who will be busy as the trade deadline approaches in a little over a week, have won five of seven games since the All-Star break after knocking off Arizona 6-2 on Friday night.
Joey Votto has led Cincinnati during its surge, going 12-for-23 with three homers and eight RBIs over the last seven contests after a three-run blast Friday, while teammate Brandon Phillips takes a 10-game hitting streak into Saturday. While the Reds are showing progress, the Diamondbacks are going backward with eight losses in their past 10 games after getting shut out on three hits in the second through ninth innings Friday. Left-hander Robbie Ray goes to the mound to try and change the course for Arizona, which had won eight of its previous 10 games against Cincinnati coming into the series. The middle of the Diamondbacks lineup has been cold of late, but leadoff batter Jean Segura has been red hot at 8-for-15 over the last four contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Robbie Ray (5-8, 4.49 ERA) vs. Reds RH Keyvius Sampson (0-1, 5.51)
Ray comes in off one of his best starts of the season when he permitted four hits in seven scoreless innings to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last Sunday. The 24-year-old was winless in his previous four starts (0-3), but boasts 122 strikeouts over 104 1/3 innings and owns a 3.70 ERA on the road this season. Phillips is 2-for-2 with a homer versus Ray, who lost his only career start against the Reds.
Sampson gets his first start of the season after allowing three hits over four scoreless innings with five strikeouts last Saturday against Milwaukee. The 25-year-old Florida native made 12 starts in 13 appearances last season with the Reds, going 2-6 with a 6.54 ERA overall. Segura is 2-for-4 with an RBI against Sampson, who limited the Diamondbacks to one run over six innings last year in a victory.
1. Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with a walk Friday and needs one homer to pass Chris Young (132) for third on the franchise’s all-time list.
2. Cincinnati C Tucker Barnhart has homered in consecutive games and boasts three blasts in July after recording two in the previous three months.
3. Diamondbacks 3B Jake Lamb is 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts over the last three games after going 7-for-12 in the previous three contests.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 6, Reds 3