After splitting a four-game series
with the Giants in San Francisco, the Arizona Diamondbacks returned home to
complete interleague play by facing the Detroit Tigers. They started the series
in second place in the National League West, behind the San Diego Padres. By
winning 2 of 3 from Detroit, Arizona kept pace with the Padres and picked up two
games on the third place Los Angeles Dodgers.
Shawn Estes started
for the D’Backs on Friday night, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing only one run
on six hits. In the bottom of the sixth inning, down 1-0, Arizona put together
two runs by playing small ball. With the bases loaded, Tony Clark hit an RBI
single to knock in Royce Clayton as the tying run and reload the bases. Shawn Green then came up and hit a scoring fly ball, bringing Luis Gonzalez home to
make it 2-1. In the top of the ninth, Arizona closer Brian Bruney had two
strikeouts in on the way to his eighth save of the season.
On Saturday, Javier Vazquez went to the mound for Arizona, looking for his eighth win. However,
despite going 6.1 innings and striking out five, Vazquez gave up all five runs
(four earned) and ten of Detroit’s eleven hits, ballooning his ERA to 4.53. A
second-inning homer by Jose Cruz Jr. accounted for the D’Backs only run, and
they lost, 5-1.
Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman entered Sunday’s rubber match with a 9-5 record and a 3.68 ERA, facing
Claudio Vargas, 1-4 with a 9.59 ERA. But Arizona quickly jumped on Bonderman
for eight runs in only two innings. The D’Backs had four home runs in the game,
including two by Shawn Green. They provided plenty of offense for Vargas, who
went 6.2 innings and gave up three runs on only four hits while striking out
eight, lowering his ERA to 8.44. Despite rallies by Detroit in the seventh and
ninth innings, the D’Backs won, 13-7.
The D’Backs will host
the Giants for three games before going on the road to face the Dodgers for
three games. They spend their last week prior to the All-Star game in a home
stand against the NL Central, featuring the NL best St. Louis Cardinals for four
games, then the Cincinnati Reds for three.