After nearly being no-hit by one of Milwaukee’s better starting pitchers, the Arizona Diamondbacks now face the dominant ace of the Brewers’ rotation.
Following two straight scoreless outings, Brandon Woodruff looks to help the surging Brewers hand the Diamondbacks a 16th consecutive road defeat on Saturday afternoon.
Following Thursday’s 7-4 loss at Milwaukee in which it rapped out 13 hits, Arizona managed just one during a 5-1 setback to the Brewers on Friday. It didn’t come until the eighth inning off Freddy Peralta, who allowed Nick Ahmed’s soft single to left with one out in the frame.
The Diamondbacks have dropped a club-record 15 straight on the road. They were 15-13 on May 2, but are 5-26 since and searching to answers for their overall poor play.
“I have extremely high expectations of this group and we have a good baseball team. And it’s time to go out and play our type of baseball,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, who lashed out at his team in the dugout Friday night.
“At the end of the night, I can sit down and accept a win or a loss if we do things our way. And, we are not meeting our standards.”
Now, Arizona faces a massive task in trying to somehow get the best of Woodruff (4-2, 1.27 ERA), who closed out May in grand fashion, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out 18 over 14 scoreless innings in winning his two starts over San Diego and Washington.
The right-hander has completed at least seven innings in each of his last four outings. His 10 straight quality starts are the most by a Brewer since CC Sabathia recorded 13 in a row during the 2008 campaign.
“I’m happy I can go out there an perform a little bit,” Woodruff humbly told MLB Network.
“I’m just getting to a point where I’m understanding myself a little bit better. I kind of know what works for me and I think that’s helped out a lot.”
Woodruff owns a 1-0 record with a 5.40 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) versus Arizona.
Diamondbacks rookie Pavin Smith has never faced Woodruff, but looks to get going again after his 14-game hitting streak was snapped Friday.
Milwaukee has won seven of eight and has homered 14 times over the last five games. Scheduled Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly (2-6, 5.04) has served up nine home runs this season.
The right-hander is 0-4 over six starts since recording his most recent winning decision versus San Diego on April 27.
In Kelly’s last start, he allowed five runs, nine hits and struck out six with two walks over 6 2/3 innings of a 6-2 home defeat to the New York Mets on Monday.
Kelly is 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA in two starts against Milwaukee — both in 2019.
Milwaukee star Christian Yelich has one hit in five at-bats versus Kelly. Yelich, though, is batting .343 in his last nine games against the Diamondbacks.
–Field Level Media