|Mark Reynolds: Ripped his 39th homer Thursday.|
Mark Reynolds returned to the Arizona Diamondbacks' lineup on Thursday night after a weeklong bout with the flu and provided instant offense for a team that had been struggling big-time recently. The same could be said for Justin Upton, who was only in his second game back from a strained oblique injury that kept him sidelined for a month. Throw in a nifty pitching performance from Yusmeiro Petit and you have a much-needed 11-0 win against the San Francisco Giants, only the second win on a dismal 10-game road trip. As bad as the 10-game swing was, you have to wonder how different it would've been with Reynolds and Upton in the lineup every day.
The two mashers were instrumental in the D-Backs' jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. After Ryan Roberts singled, Upton singled to move Roberts to third. Then, Reynolds singled and later scored on Gerardo Parra's sacrifice fly. In the fifth inning, Reynolds hit his 39th home run of the year. Rookie Brandon Allen, who came over from the Chicago White Sox in the Tony Peña trade, joined in the fun by hitting his first major-league homer, a three-run job, in the fifth inning. He later doubled in the top of the ninth to drive in his fourth run of the night.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Petit continued his very solid second half. He scattered four hits over six innings and struck out five Giants. Except for a hiccup against the Dodgers on August 16, when he gave up seven runs in only four innings, he has pitched nicely for the D-Backs. His earned-run average is high, at 5.59, but that's not terrible, considering it was well over 8.00 earlier in the season. The way he's pitched in July and most of August is encouraging, because surely the D-Backs will be looking to Petit to hold down a spot in the rotation in 2010.
Tonight, the D-Backs return to Chase Field for a three-game homestand against the Houston Astros, who took two of three from the D-Backs last weekend in Houston. Here are the match-ups:
Tonight: Yorman Bazardo (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (7-8, 4.12, 142 strikeouts in 133.1 innings pitched), 6:40 p.m.
Saturday: Bud Norris (3-2, 5.86) vs. Jon Garland (7-11 4.48), 5:10 p.m.
Sunday: Wandy Rodriguez (12-8, 2.82, 148 K in 162.2 IP) vs. Dan Haren (12-8, 2.73, 173 K/28 BB in 181 IP), 1:10 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR. More info: www.dbacks.com.