The Arizona Diamondbacks ended their latest home stand 4-2 with 2-1 series wins over the St. Louis Cardinals and the Colorado Rockies, then went to Atlanta where they took two of three from the Braves. Arizona moved into first place with the win in the final game of the series at Atlanta on Thursday.
The Colorado Rockies won for the first time in five games with the Diamondbacks 8-6 on Friday. Todd Stottlemeyre was impressive in his second start of the season, but left the game trailing 302 in the fifth. Jose Guillen pinch-hit for Stottlemeyre and tied the game with a homer in the bottom of the frame. Brian Anderson gave up a run on two walks, a wild pitch and a single in the sixth and took the loss. Eddie Oropesa had his first non-productive outing. Luis Gonzalez and Danny Bautista also homered for the Diamondbacks.
Arizona came back to win the second game of the series on Saturday 9-8 with Rick Helling getting credit for the victory. Danny Bautista homered as the Diamondbacks opened up a 9-1 lead after three innings. Helling pitched bad enough to lose, though, and the relievers were less than awesome as Colorado chipped away and the Diamondbacks barely escaped with the victory.
Randy Johnson won his fifth game of the season 6-1 over the Rockies in the series finale on Sunday. The Big Unit was at his best, giving up only two hits and striking out 17. The first inning run was unearned, scoring as a result of a pair of passed balls. Steve Finley and Damien Miller homered of the D-Backs.
Curt Schilling ran his record to 4-1 with a 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta on April 23. The Diamondbacks scored four of their five runs as a result of misplayed fly balls by Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones. Both were generously scored as hits, but were obviously plays a major league player should make. Schilling retired the first 10 batters before Andruw Jones homered to cut the then margin to 4-1. The Braves never threatened to tie or take the lead.
The Braves took the second game of the series 4-3 on Wednesday. It was Arizona’s most disappointing loss of the season. Stottlemeyre pitched his best game of his comeback effort by fan, retiring the last 12 men he faced. The Diamondbacks erased a 2-1 deficit when he left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh and took a 3-2 lead. Brett Prinz couldn’t retire either of the batters he faced in the eighth and took the loss. Junior Spivey continued his torrid hitting with a homer and a single.
The series finale saw Helling pitch his best game as a Diamondback in an 11-5 victory. The D-Backs scored eight runs off Greg Maddux in the fifth inning. Helling left after a strong six innings in which he allowed only two runs.
A weekend series began on Friday in Florida. The next home stand began on Tuesday with the New York Mets providing the opposition. This will be an important nine-game stand with the Mets, Montreal Expos and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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