Patrick Corbin tries to become the first pitcher in Arizona Diamondbacks history to open a season 10-0 as he takes the mound on Friday night for the opener of a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
Corbin has won seven straight starts and last time out joined Brandon Webb (2008) as the only hurlers in club history to win their first nine decisions of a season. The left-hander picked up a victory last time out despite failing to throw a quality start for the first time this season.
Corbin allowed a season-high four earned runs over six innings in an 8-4 win at the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. He also fanned five in moving to 9-0 with a 2.06 earned run average in 11 starts this year. Arizona has won all 11 outings.
The NL's Pitcher of the Month for May, the 23-year-old Corbin did not get a decision in an outing at San Francisco on April 23. He allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings, giving him career numbers of 2-1 with a 4.45 ERA in five meetings with the Giants.
The Diamondbacks recently split a four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, failing to secure the series victory thanks to Thursday's 12-8 setback. Starter Ian Kennedy was rocked for 10 runs and 13 hits over four innings of work, giving up three of St. Louis' five home runs.
"This is going to make me want to work harder in my next start," said Kennedy. "I hate it when I pitch like this and I hate this feeling. I don't want this to happen again."
Eight different Arizona hitters drove in a run, while Gerardo Parra went 3- for-4 with a double.
Arizona leads San Francisco and Colorado by 2 1/2 games for first place in the NL West and will try to pad its lead over the Giants by handing Matt Cain a second straight rough outing.
The San Francisco righty had won four straight decisions and allowed two runs or fewer in four of five starts before an odd outing in St. Louis last Saturday.
Cain logged six innings of work and was perfect in five of them. However, he gave up all seven runs and nine hits he was charged with in the third inning, taking a loss.
"I made a good bit of mistakes, a lot of pitches over the plate," Cain admitted. "I just made a lot of bad pitches."
The 28-year-old dipped to 4-3 with a 5.45 earned run average in 12 starts this season and that includes a pair of no-decisions versus Arizona. He has a 5.25 ERA in those outings but is 13-6 all-time in this series with a 3.47 ERA in 29 starts.
The Giants were denied a third straight victory when they dropped a 4-0 decision to the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. R.A. Dickey kept San Francisco off the board for 8 1/3 innings, handing the Giants their first loss at home with Barry Zito on the mound in 10 months.
Dating back to Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, San Francisco had come out on top in 14 straight home contests that Zito started. But the lefty allowed four runs in the fifth inning to fall in defeat.
Zito permitted seven hits, four of which came during the fateful fifth, and three walks in the loss, the sixth in nine games for San Francisco.
The Giants swept a three-game set in their last trip to Arizona on April 29- May 1 and have won seven of their last eight on the road in this series.