Surging D-backs carry streak into Philly

mlb1DIAMONDBACKS (34-32) AT PHILLIES (37-28)
7:05 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-A, MLB.TV

The Arizona Diamondbacks go for their fifth straight win when they open a three-game series against the Phillies on Monday night in Philadelphia.

The Phillies were looking for their fifth straight win on Sunday, but they surrendered a 3-1 lead in a 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (3-3, 4.14 ERA) will look to get the first-place Phillies back on track. He ended a string of four subpar outings in his last start, a win over the San Diego Padres in which he allowed three runs on four hits over six innings while striking out five without a walk.

“He pitched a great game,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He was very aggressive with his pitches.”

In his four previous starts, Eickhoff had allowed 17 runs on 25 hits in 18 1/3 innings while his ERA climbed from 1.50 to 4.10.

Eickhoff is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts versus the Diamondbacks.

Arizona opens the series with rookie right-hander Taylor Clarke (1-2, 4.43 ERA), who will be making his fifth major league start.

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old Clarke allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in five innings of a loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his home debut. That was a significant improvement over his previous effort, when gave up five runs in two innings against the Colorado Rockies.

“I thought Taylor Clarke did a really good job of managing himself through some really tough situations,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I had a brief conversation with him about the presence and his ability to repeat his delivery and throw quality strikes in some pretty difficult circumstances.”

Against the Rockies, Clarke allowed three runs in the first and two more in the second. He gave up two in the first against the Dodgers, but only one additional run over the next four innings.

The Diamondbacks finished off their sweep of the Blue Jays with an 8-2 win on Sunday and outscored Toronto 22-4 in the three games. Arizona scored all of its runs Sunday in the third inning. One came on Ketel Marte’s solo homer, his 15th of the season, establishing a career high.

All nine starters reached base at least once as Arizona compiled 10 hits and seven walks.

The road trip gets tougher now with back-to-back series against the Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

“We’ve just got to keep it going,” left-hander Robbie Ray, Sunday’s winning pitcher, told the Arizona Republic. “We know what it looks like. We know what we have to do. We know we have a tough series in Philly coming up. We just have to keep executing like we know how to do.”

The Phillies seemed on the verge of the three-game sweep against Cincinnati before the Reds scored three runs in the seventh Sunday. Aaron Nola got the first two outs in the inning before the Reds mounted their rally off him and two relievers.

With two outs and the Phillies leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, Bryce Harper was thrown out attempting a straight steal of home.

“He has been very aggressive on the bases, and he’s won some games for us with his aggressive baserunning,” Kapler said. “He and I spoke about it, and he understands that was a little overaggressive.”

–Field Level Media

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