Athletics-Diamondbacks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 07, 2012
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has benched the struggling Justin Upton for three of the last five games, and it may only be a coincidence his squad has won each contest Upton has sat out. Whatever the reason, Arizona is hot. The Diamondbacks seek their fifth win in their last six contests in Friday night's opener of a three-game set with the visiting Oakland Athletics, who are coming off their first series victory in a month. Gibson maintains the recent scratches are simply to help Upton, who has called at least one of the nights off "unproductive." Upton, 4 for 28 in his last seven games to drop his average to .243, went 0 for 4 in his most recent action in Monday's 4-0 loss to Colorado. Arizona (27-30) beat the Rockies by a combined 16-1 Tuesday and Wednesday. "He's a very important part of our team, we all know that, and we're going to try to get him back on track," Gibson said. It's unclear if Upton will be in the lineup Friday, though it seems safe to say Paul Goldschmidt will be. Goldschmidt extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games Wednesday by going 3 for 4 with a homer, two doubles and three RBIs in a 6-1 win. The first baseman is hitting .431 with five homers during his streak. He was batting .223 with two homers in 34 games before that. "Obviously, it's nice to get a little momentum, but we've got to continue to play well," Goldschmidt said. "As a whole we haven't been able to put it together for an extended amount of time." Arizona will send Daniel Hudson (2-1, 4.65 ERA) to the mound Friday as it looks to keep rolling. Hudson is coming off his best start of the season, allowing two runs in eight innings of a 4-2 win at San Diego on Saturday. It was just his fifth start this year and his second since a stint on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement. "The Huddy of old," Gibson said. "He threw great. I didn't want to take the game away from him, so I stayed with him." The right-hander allowed five runs in five innings in his only career start against Oakland - a 6-4 loss while pitching for the Chicago White Sox on July 25, 2010. The Athletics (26-32) likely won't start slugger Yoenis Cespedes after he strained his hamstring in Thursday's 7-1 win over Texas. Manager Bob Melvin said he hopes Cespedes will be available for pinch-hitting duty over the weekend. Still, Oakland took three of four from the two-time defending AL champions - its first series win since taking two of three at Tampa Bay from May 4-6 - and has won four of six since dropping nine straight May 22-June 1. "To be able to take three out of four, with the struggles that we've seen here recently is a big lift," Melvin said. "We played all facets this series." Melvin hopes the A's can provide a little more support for Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.53) this time around after he lost each of his last two starts 2-0. He allowed four runs over 13 2-3 innings against the New York Yankees and Kansas City. The left-hander has received three runs of support in 27 2-3 innings while going 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA over his last four starts. "You give up two runs, you keep your team in the game with a chance to win," Melvin said. "You expect to score at least two runs every ballgame." This marks the first series between the clubs in Arizona since 2008.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker