D-backs look to maintain surge against Dodgers

The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to break out of the neutral zone Friday night in Phoenix against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona has won four consecutive games -- including Thursday's opener of this four-game series, 11-5 -- to be two games over .500 for the seventh time since losing on June 18. The bad news: The D-backs lost the next game in their previous six attempts to get three games over .500.

They have bounced between two games under and two games over the break-even line since June 18. Maybe this time will be different.

"It's what you hope to see in the first game of the series, where you have a lot of positives," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Thursday night. "It was just one big hit after another. ...

"We're in a really good spot right now. There's a ton of energy in the dugout. There's a ton of energy in that clubhouse right now, and these guys are ready to go."

Arizona will be trying to match its season-long, five-game winning streak, accomplished twice, the last time being from June 5-10.

The D-backs will try to get there against Dodgers rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.74 ERA), who will be making his fifth start and second against Arizona. His major league debut came against the D-backs, who roughed him up for six runs (four earned) in four innings on June 26.

Gonsolin, 25, has been pitching well, however. His past three starts have come against division leaders -- the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees -- and he has allowed just two runs in 15 innings over that span.

He will be opposed by 24-year-old rookie Zac Gallen (2-4, 2.56). The right-hander, acquired at the trade deadline, pitched against the Dodgers when he was with the Miami Marlins, taking the loss in a 2-1 game on July 19. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, while striking out five and walking four.

Gallen has struck out at least eight batters in five of his 11 starts.

The Dodgers' Justin Turner homered in the ninth inning Thursday -- his eighth shot in the past 15 games -- but Los Angeles will play the series without infielder Max Muncy, who was hit by a pitch on the right wrist on Wednesday. He is hitting .245 with 33 home runs, with 59 starts at second base, 35 at first base and 24 at third.

X-rays did not reveal a fracture, but Muncy was scheduled for more tests Friday, manager Dave Roberts said after Thursday night's game. Muncy said before the game that his wrist felt "pretty painful."

"So we're basically just double-checking it and hoping for the best," Muncy said on MLB.com. "With how it feels right now, I'm a little nervous. But I'm also just trying not to get my hope up that, 'Oh, the pictures came out negative, it's all good.' ... I'm trying to stay neutral with it right now."

In the best case, Muncy wouldn't be ready to play until after rosters expand on Sept. 1. Roberts said the team would "probably be a little more aggressive with our September call-ups," although he didn't elaborate when asked if the team's top prospect, 21-year-old middle infielder Gavin Lux, would be part of those plans.

--Field Level Media
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