D-Backs need antidote for Dickerson to avoid sweep by Giants

4:10 p.m. ET; FS-A, NBCSBA, MLB.TV

The Arizona Diamondbacks must figure out a way to cool down the hottest hitter in baseball when they attempt to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the visiting San Francisco Giants and their two-day sensation, outfielder Alex Dickerson, on Sunday afternoon.

Dickerson, acquired from the San Diego Padres($9)for a minor-leaguer earlier in the month and summoned from Triple-A on Friday, bombed the unsuspecting Diamondbacks for the second straight night in Saturday’s 7-4 win.

One day after recording six RBIs — four on a grand slam — in his Giants debut, the 29-year-old drove in three more runs with a pair of doubles to put San Francisco on the doorstep of their first three-game road sweep of the season.

After just two days, he’s already hit for the cycle, going 5-for-9 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and nine RBIs.

“You don’t really have too many thoughts going through your mind,” Dickerson admitted to reporters about his historic start as a Giant. “But that’s a lot of hard work over two years to get back to this moment.”

Dickerson’s nine RBIs are a record for a player in his first two games as a Giant. Rookie John Bowker set the previous mark of eight in 2008.

Dickerson also became just the third Giant to hit a grand slam in his team debut in Friday’s 11-5 win, joining Barry Bonds and teammate Brandon Crawford in that distinction.

“That’s great company to be with,” the third-year major-leaguer said.

Dickerson had been hitting .176 in his first six games at Triple-A at the time of his call-up.

The ex-Padre has never faced Arizona’s scheduled Sunday starter, right-hander Merrill Kelly (7-7, 3.99 ERA).

Kelly, a 30-year-old rookie, dominated the Giants in one earlier head-to-head this season, shutting them out over 5 1/3 innings in a 7-0 home win in May. He allowed six hits.

He has won three of his last four starts, but is coming off an 8-1 drubbing against Colorado that kicked off a nine-game homestand on which the Diamondbacks so far are winless in five games.

The Giants will send right-hander Shaun Anderson (2-2, 4.08) after a win that would allow San Francisco to complete a winning trip after a 1-3 start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Anderson allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings in a 6-2 loss to the Diamondbacks in May. It was the only time the 24-year-old has allowed four or more earned runs in any of his seven starts.

The Diamondbacks expect second baseman Ketel Marte to return Sunday after he sat out Saturday’s loss to recover from a cramp in his left groin sustained in the series opener.

Marte homered off Anderson in their first career head-to-head in the May contest, but the All-Star starter finalist had his mind on other things before his injury was fully diagnosed the last two days.

“For sure I was scared,” he admitted to reporters Saturday. “I was just thinking at that moment I’m not going to be in the All-Star Game.”

Marte leads the Diamondbacks in batting average (.309) and home runs (20), and is second to Eduardo Escobar in RBIs with 51.

–Field Level Media

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