MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Cincinnati0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 450
Arizona0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 371
  W: L. Castillo (15-6)   L: M. Leake (2-3)   S: R. Iglesias (30)
6:40 PM PT7:40 PM MT8:40 PM CT9:40 PM ET21:40 ET1:40 GMT9:40 6:40 PM MST8:40 PM EST9:10 PM VEN5:40 UAE (+1)8:40 PM CT, September 13, 2019
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona  Attendance: 35,158

Reeling D-backs look to rebound against Reds

After a disastrous visit to New York, the Arizona Diamondbacks return home Friday facing an uphill climb for a National League wild-card berth.

The Diamondbacks were outscored 26-4 while losing four straight to the Mets and are 3 1/2 games behind both the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers for the second NL wild-card spot. Arizona, which begins a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds in Phoenix on Friday, would have to climb over four teams to make the wild-card game.

"We came in feeling very good about ourselves and got socked in the face," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after an 11-1 loss Thursday. "We were trying to take too big a piece of the pie instead of doing what you can to be the best version of yourself."

Arizona right-hander Mike Leake (11-10, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to face Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (14-6, 3.21 ERA) in the series opener. The Diamondbacks took two of three in Cincinnati last weekend, but a 4-3 walk-off loss Sunday started their current five-game skid.

The Mets' sweep was a dramatic about-face for the Diamondbacks, who after winning 11 of 13 were only 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs and ahead of the other contenders for the second wild-card spot. But the Mets, Milwaukee and Philadelphia Phillies leap-frogged Arizona in the last four days.

"We're a hungry baseball team right now and, at times, where you're a little bit too hungry, you get a little bit too restless," Lovullo said. "We've got to get back in that comfort zone and execute."

The Diamondbacks had 24 hits, were 3-for-24 with runners in scoring position and got only 15 1/3 innings out of their starting pitchers against the Mets. They have scored seven runs during the five-game losing streak.

Arizona can point to a favorable schedule the rest of the way. It plays 12 of the final 15 at home, and NL Central leader St. Louis is the only remaining opponent with a winning record.

The Diamondbacks' skid began in Cincinnati, when Eugenio Suarez hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning Sunday and pitcher/outfielder Michael Lorenzen had a pinch-hit, walk-off double in the ninth.

"I think I'm going to be more opportunistic to get him out there, but I don't want to force it too much, either," Reds manager David Bell told reporters about using the versatile Lorenzen down the stretch. "It's still September for him, and we've asked a lot of him, so I just want to be smart about it for him."

Suarez hit his 45h homer in the Reds' 11-5 victory over the Mariners in Seattle on Thursday, and Joey Votto had his second double in as many games. He is the seventh active player with 400 doubles.

Leake gave up seven hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings in Cincinnati on Sunday but the bullpen could not hold a 3-2 lead. He is still looking for his first victory against the Reds, who made him the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft. Leake is 0-5 with a 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against them.

Castillo gave up three hits and two runs in a 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday while striking out 10. He is 1-4 with a 4.35 ERA in five career starts against Arizona.

Castillo is tied with Arizona's Robbie Ray for fifth in the NL with 208 strikeouts.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 13, 2019

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