(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks enjoyed a productive first half of
the season and headed to the All-Star break leaders of the NL West.
The Diamondbacks can pad their lead even more over the defending World Series
champion San Francisco Giants when the division foes collide Friday in the
opener of a three-game series at AT&T Park.
Arizona is 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and 6 1/2 games in
front of the Giants. The club entered the break on a losing note and had a
three-game win streak stopped with Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers
in the finale of a four-game set. Ian Kennedy, who gets the call Friday, was
dealt the loss for giving up all five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Miguel Montero hit a solo homer for the Diamondbacks, who are first in the NL
West by the All-Star Game for the first time since 2008.
"It's good, we're in first place," D'backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We've
had a lot of trials and tribulations but the team has hung in there well.
We've stuck together well."
Gibson's club was represented by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and pitcher
Patrick Corbin in the All-Star Game, a 3-0 win for the American League.
Goldschmidt doubled and Corbin was dealt the loss for permitting the first run
of the game in the fourth inning. Both players were gracious for the
opportunity, especially Goldschmidt.
"It was awesome. Hopefully as many people as possible get to do it. Hopefully
I'll get to do it again. Obviously it's an honor to be out here with some of
these guys, mentioned in the same breath as them. That in itself was cool, but
just the whole experience of being here, everything they did was top notch.
"I got to talk to guys I normally wouldn't talk to. That was probably my
favorite part of the experience, to talk to guys and get their take on
Meanwhile, Kennedy is 0-3 with a 6.58 earned run average in his last seven
starts with the D'backs going 1-6 in that time. Kennedy has allowed 16 runs in
his last four appearances and owns just a 3-6 mark in 18 starts to go along
with a 5.42 ERA. The right-hander and former All-Star has pitched well in his
career against the Giants, going 6-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 15 starts.
The Giants were aiming for a four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres until
they were handed a 10-1 loss on Sunday at Petco Park. One day after Tim
Lincecum tossed a no-hitter, rotation mate Barry Zito was hammered for four
runs in only two innings of work.
"My concentration wasn't where it should be," Zito said. "I threw too many
pitches down the middle of the plate that hung."
Marco Scutaro had two of San Francisco's seven hits and drove in the only run
in the loss, the Giants' 15th in the past 20 contests.
Giants catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Scutaro, starting pitcher Madison
Bumgarner and reliever Sergio Romo represented the club in the All-Star Game.
Posey struck out in his only at-bat, while the other three never saw action.
"At the end of it all, what a privilege it is just to be here," Romo said.
"This could be the only time I ever make an All-Star team, so I enjoyed it."
San Francisco is winless in its last four home games and hopes Chad Gaudin can
change that when he starts Friday night. Gaudin is 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 24
games (6 starts) and earned the win in a 10-1 decision at San Diego last
Friday, when he allowed one run and scattered three hits in five innings.
Gaudin defeated the D'backs on June 9 in the desert and is 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA
in 12 games (4 starts) lifetime against them.
The Giants are 6-3 against Arizona this season, but dropped two of three to
the Diamondbacks at home from April 22-24.
The Sports Network