The Arizona Diamondbacks pretty much know what they are going to get out of starter Patrick Corbin when he takes the mound. They hope the young hurler can pitch them to a season high-tying fourth straight victory on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Corbin has gone at least six innings and allowed two runs or fewer in each of his first six starts this season, matching Dan Haren (April 7-May 2, 2009) for the longest such streak in club history. Corbin stands at 4-0 with a 1.80 earned run average on the season ahead of his first career meeting with the Phillies.
The 23-year-old southpaw picked up his latest victory on Saturday versus the San Diego Padres, holding them to a run on five hits and three walks over seven innings. He matched a season high with seven strikeouts and was handed an early lead thanks to a six-run second inning by the Diamondbacks.
"It really helps when we come out and put up six runs early on in the game, it just lets you go out there, pitch you game and go after guys. It helped out a lot and I am glad I was able to get through seven innings," Corbin said.
Arizona has won four of its past five games and finished off a three-game sweep of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers with Wednesday's 3-2 win. Paul Goldschmidt drove in all three runs on a pair of homers, hitting a two-run shot in the sixth inning and the go-ahead solo blast in the eighth.
"I hit it and I knew it was going to be close and I kind of lost sight of it and couldn't tell, so I looked at the umpire and he obviously said home run," Goldschmidt said of his game-winner.
The Arizona slugger went deep for a third straight game and is hitting .320 on the year with nine homers and an NL-leading 30 RBI.
Wade Miley allowed two runs and scattered seven hits over 7 2/3 innings to earn the win. He struck out four without issuing a walk to earn his first win since April 10.
With closer J.J. Putz on the disabled list due to a strained elbow, Heath Bell gave up a leadoff double in the ninth, but recorded the next three outs to earn his third save.
Arizona will try to win four in a row for the first time since April 3-7.
Cole Hamels draws the start for the Phillies and has begun to round into form after a rough start to the season, even as the wins fail to come.
Hamels is 1-4 with a 4.34 ERA through seven outings this year, but has a 2.31 ERA over his last five. He has given up two runs or fewer in four of those outings, but the Phillies have scored just nine runs in the five starts while getting shut out twice.
The left-hander notched his first win of the season on April 28 versus the New York Mets before taking a tough-luck 2-0 loss at home versus the Miami Marlins on Saturday. Hamels matched a season high with eight innings pitched, allowing two solo homers on four hits without a walk.
"I went out and I was able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish except for that part when you get that 'W' by your name," said Hamels, who is 4-1 with a 3.47 ERA in seven career meetings with the Diamondbacks.
Goldschmidt is hitless in three career at-bats against Hamels with an RBI and one strikeout.
The Phillies are trying to build some momentum and they took the first two games of their set with the defending champion San Francisco Giants before dropping a 4-3 decision in 10 innings in Wednesday's finale.
Chase Utley and Delmon Young both drove in a run during a two-run ninth frame for Philadelphia that tied the game, but reliever Antonio Bastardo allowed a run-scoring single to Andres Torres with two outs in the bottom of the 10th.
"We came back in the ninth and gave ourselves a shot to actually win it," Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins remarked. "The way we wanted to play it is what matters most. We can stand tall on that and hopefully take that to Arizona (for the next series) and throughout."
Kevin Frandsen slugging a solo homer in the fourth inning, Philadelphia's 13th straight solo home run.
Charlie Manuel participated in his 1,331st game as the Phillies' skipper, tying Gene Mauch (1960-68) for the most by a manager in club history.
The Phillies went 4-2 versus the Diamondbacks last season.