Diamondbacks-Reds Preview

Paul Goldschmidt's slump has him losing ground in the NL batting chase, but A.J. Pollock's torrid stretch has turned him into a contender.

Pollock looks to continue pounding the last-place Cincinnati Reds as the Arizona Diamondbacks try to deal them an eighth straight loss Saturday night.

Goldschmidt entered August with a league-leading .349 average and seemed to be on his way to becoming the first Diamondback to win a batting crown. That prospect has become murky with his average dropping to .326 while he's hitting .208 in 19 games - 2 for 25 in the past six.

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Pollock, however, has entered the race thanks to his .438 average over the past 15 games, increasing his season mark 19 points to .321.

Both Goldschmidt and Pollock are chasing Miami's Dee Gordon (.338) for the league lead.

Pollock has matched his career high with four hits in each of the first two of this series, coming a triple shy of the cycle in Friday's 6-3 victory.

The center fielder is a career .465 hitter in 13 games against the Reds, going 10 for 18 in five at Cincinnati. Goldschmidt, however, is 1 for 17 in his last four games there.

"I think he'll probably be in the lineup (Saturday)," manager Chip Hale deadpanned about Pollock's availability.

The Diamondbacks (60-61) are giving Randall Delgado (4-3, 2.70 ERA) his first start of the season after Jeremy Hellickson went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring Thursday. The right-hander is 11-19 with a 4.23 ERA in 47 career starts over the past four years with Arizona and Atlanta.

"With his velocity and repertoire of pitches that he has, I think (senior vice president and general manager Dave Stewart) wants to get an idea if this guy can be a starter for us in the future, so he wants to give him a shot," Hale told MLB's official website. "He's got good stuff, he's started in the past. He's still a young guy. He's 25 years old, so let's see what he's got."

Delgado is 0-3 with a 4.70 ERA in four career starts against the Reds, losing both in Cincinnati with a 7.15 ERA.

These Reds (51-69) aren't exactly an intimidating presence, though. They're in the midst of a 3-13 stretch that's dropped them into the NL Central cellar.

Anthony DeSclafani (7-8, 3.72) will try to help dig them out and become the first Reds rookie to win eight games since Mike Leake in 2010.

The right-hander has fallen short in the last two attempts, going 0-1 while allowing five runs and 16 hits in 12 innings. That includes yielding three runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss in 10 at Arizona on Aug. 9. DeSclafani had won his two previous outings with a 1.38 ERA.

He's struggled with Goldschmidt, who is 3 for 3 with two doubles off him.