ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks-Reds preview: Who is pitching at Chase Field?

May 13, 2024, 6:07 PM

Elly De La Cruz...

Elly De La Cruz #44 of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 20th steal of the season ahead of the throw to Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the fifth inning at Great American Ball Park on May 8, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds are getting very familiar with each other.

The Reds are at Chase Field for three games Monday-Wednesday after the two sides met for a three-game series last week at Great American Ballpark. That will be six games in nine days against each other, similar to a playoff series.

“There’s no surprises,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

Arizona swept the first meeting and have won six of the last seven meeting against Cincinnati dating back to last season. The D-backs beat the Reds to a wild card spot in the final weekend of the regular season.

Two of Arizona’s three wins that last series were by a run, and required some late-game heroics.

The Reds (17-23) have been reeling with 10 losses in their last 11 games, and outfielder TJ Friedl landed on the 10-day injured list Monday with a fractured left thumb.

The Diamondbacks have won five of seven with an extra-inning defeat at the Baltimore Orioles as one of the losses. They are climbing back toward .500 at 19-22.

“We’re gonna get get the Reds out of the way at the right time, they’re not playing great baseball,” Lovullo said. “But they’re a good baseball team. They’re loaded with young players, and they’re going to turn it around at some point. So it’s challenging because you really got to stay on it. The team eventually by Game 4, 5 and 6 is going to know exactly what you’re trying to get to.”

Diamondbacks-Reds pitching probables

Monday, 6:40 p.m. — LHP Jordan Montgomery (4.70 ERA) vs. RHP Graham Ashcraft (3.86 ERA)

Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. — RHP Slade Cecconi (4.15 ERA) vs. Hunter Greene (3.38 ERA)

Wednesday, 12:40 p.m. — RHP Brandon Pfaadt (4.60 ERA) vs. LHP Andrew Abbott (3.35 ERA)

The Diamondbacks saw Ashcraft and Greene while the Reds faced Montgomery and Cecconi in Cincinnati.

Montgomery and Cecconi combined for 12.1 innings and three earned runs at hitter-happy Great American Ballpark, while the Diamondbacks charged six earned runs in 10 frames to Ashcraft and Greene — although Cincinnati’s bullpen did not help the starters with inherited runners.

Montgomery is making his second home start with the Diamondbacks, looking to give a better impression than his six earned runs against the Dodgers. His other three starts since signing with Arizona have been quality.

Diamondbacks-Reds hitter to watch

Diamondbacks: Ketel Marte has a 13-game hitting streak, three away from matching a career best. Marte has four home runs in his last seven games. He is also 3-for-8 with a couple doubles against Ashcraft.

Reds: How could it not be Elly De La Cruz? The 22-year-old leads MLB with 25 steals, way ahead of second place (Jose Caballero with 18).  The Reds as a team pace MLB with 72 swipes. De La Cruz also has nine home runs this year. He is, however, 1-for-12 in his career against Arizona’s three starters this series.

Difference to watch

The Diamondbacks, even with a rocky start when it came to errors, are back to being one of the best defensive teams in baseball. They are third in MLB with 14 outs above average. The Reds rank bottom 10 in most defensive categories, including 27th with -11 OAA.

Lovullo has been more pleased with his team’s execution lately.

“I see a focused baseball team, I see a team that’s out there playing fast, smart baseball,” Lovullo said.

Catch the games on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app.

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