Patrick Corbin will try for the fourth time to become a 10- game winner Saturday when the Arizona Diamondbacks resume a three-game series versus the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field.
Corbin has registered three straight no-decisions since upping his record to 9-0 back on June 2. He did not figure into the decision of his team's 3-2 loss to Miami on Monday and delivered eight innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts and one walk.
The left-hander, who is 9-0 with a 2.28 earned run average in 14 starts, lost his only career start against the Reds last Aug. 29 in a 6-2 defeat. Corbin gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in that one. The Diamondbacks are 13-1 when Corbin starts this season and hope he can become the club's first pitcher to start 10-0.
With a win tonight, Corbin will be the third pitcher in the last 25 years to win his first 10 decisions along with Rogers Clemens (11 in 1997) and Aaron Small (10 in 2005).
Reds starter Mike Leake will counter Corbin on the mound and is 5-1 in his last six decisions, spanning seven starts. Leake has allowed only one run in each of his last two starts and tossed seven innings of one-run ball in Monday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.
Leake improved to 7-3 in 14 starts with a 2.64 ERA and is 5-1 in seven road assignments this season. The right-hander has made three career starts against Arizona and is 1-0 with a lofty 7.94 ERA in that time.
Arizona drew first blood in this series with Friday's 11-5 bashing of the Reds behind a pair of home runs from Paul Goldschmidt and a solo shot by Gerardo Parra. Goldschmidt ended 3-for-5 with three RBI and Jason Kubel provided four hits, three runs scored and an RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have won three straight since losing four in a row.
Didi Gregorius was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the win.
Wade Miley got the start for the D'backs, but did not figure into the decision after he was reached for three runs in 4 2/3 innings. Will Harris got the final out of the fifth inning for the win thanks to a four-run eruption in the bottom of the fifth inning that broke a 3-3 tie.
"We scored some runs early, they did a good job coming back," said Goldschmidt. "We were able to get the lead again and tack on, kind of put the game out of reach."
The Diamondbacks are 2 1/2 games ahead of San Diego for the NL West lead and sit three games in front of San Francisco. Colorado is not too far off at four games behind Arizona.
Cincinnati has dropped two in a row and three of four games, and saw Johnny Cueto suffer his first loss of the season (4-1) on Friday. Cueto was roughed up for seven runs and 11 hits in just 4 1/3 innings, while Curtis Partch was tagged for four runs in relief.
"He was getting balls over the heart of the plate, the slider wasn't as sharp," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said about Cueto.
Joey Votto ended 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI and Jay Bruce also went deep in a losing effort. Bruce has homered in three straight games and has eight this month.
"I'm trying to put myself in a position to be successful," Bruce said. "It's what I've been saying and sounds cliche, but I don't focus on the results too, too much. I'm trying to be ready when I do have a chance to do something positive."
Cincinnati, which opened an eight-game road trip on Friday, is now third in the NL Central standings, 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis. Pittsburgh is second at three games off the pace.
The Diamondbacks and Reds are meeting for the first time since Cincinnati won five of seven matchups a season ago.