Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Madison Bumgarner, D-backs seek sweep of Pirates

Field Level Media
21 Jul 2021, 17:40 GMT+10

The Arizona Diamondbacks, in the midst of a dreadful season, are suddenly improving.

The major league-worst Diamondbacks seek to match their season-best winning streak of four games on Wednesday afternoon when they face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the finale of a three-game series at Phoenix.

Arizona's lone four-game winning streak of the season came from April 18-22 when they beat the Washington Nationals in a series finale and swept a three-game set from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Diamondbacks are in position to match that string of success because they overcame a four-run deficit Tuesday by scoring the game's next 10 runs in an 11-6 win over the Pirates.

Arizona exploded for eight seventh-inning runs in the victory. Josh VanMeter contributed three RBIs in the frame with a run-scoring triple and a two-run double, and Josh Reddick delivered a tiebreaking two-run single.

"Probably looked as good as it felt for us," Reddick said in a postgame television interview. "We really haven't had a stretch where we put up a big crooked number in one inning, so to get eight in that inning was a big stepping stone for us and it definitely got the boys fired up."

The Diamondbacks' rally sent the Pirates to their third straight setback.

Gregory Polanco and John Nogowski hit two-run homers for Pittsburgh. Nogowski's blast was his first in 32 big-league games.

"It was a pretty special moment, man," Nogowski said. "It's something I've dreamed about for a long time, and a lot of work went into it."

Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner (4-6, 5.35 ERA) will be on the mound Wednesday, pitching for the second time since returning from a shoulder injury.

Bumgarner was sharp in his first appearance since June 2 but took the loss against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. He gave up two runs (one earned) and two hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Bumgarner, who turns 32 on Aug. 1, has lost four consecutive decisions.

He is 3-5 with a 3.14 ERA in nine career starts against Pittsburgh.

Bumgarner isn't considered a movable asset as the July 30 trade deadline nears as he is in the second season of a five-year, $85 million deal.

However, plenty of other Arizona players are being discussed, and general manager Mike Hazen figures to be a busy man over the next 10 days.

"As you can imagine, there's a lot of interest in our players," Hazen told reporters prior to Tuesday's game. "We are trying to figure out exactly what we're going to do and when. It's hard for me to give an assessment on when things are going to happen because we're at the mercy of two parties coming together."

Right-hander Max Kranick will start for the Pirates on Wednesday, his 24th birthday. He was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Kranick is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two 2021 starts with the Pirates.

He pitched five hitless innings on June 27 against the St. Louis Cardinals in his major league debut and picked up the victory. He lost to the New York Mets on July 10, when he gave up three runs and four hits over three innings.

Kranick, an 11th-round pick in the 2016 draft, went 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA in nine minor league starts this season -- three for Double-A Altoona and six for Indianapolis.

--Field Level Media

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