The Arizona Diamondbacks are scuffling at the plate, and it's becoming a serious issue with runners in scoring position.
Giancarlo Stanton isn't having any such trouble since his return to the Miami Marlins.
The Diamondbacks will try to stop the surging Stanton in an attempt to avoid their longest losing streak of the year Tuesday night.
Arizona (37-33) is batting .188 with eight runs during a season high-tying four-game skid after hitting .294 over the previous 18 contests.
The Diamondbacks are having major issues with runners in scoring position, going 4 for 26 (.154) over the last four games. That was vital Monday, when they went 1 for 12 and stranded nine runners while squandering a two-run lead in a 3-2 loss to Miami (22-47).
"More of the same," manager Kirk Gibson said.
That could also apply to Stanton, who is 11 for 28 (.393) with three doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs in seven games since returning from a strained right hamstring that sidelined him since April 29.
The Marlins slugger turned in his best performance yet in the opener of this three-game series Monday, tying the game with a two-run homer off Patrick Corbin before connecting for a solo shot in the ninth off Heath Bell.
Stanton is a .349 hitter with five doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs in 12 visits to Chase Field.
"The guy is swinging the bat good. We have to find a better way to get around him," Gibson said. "You can see how strong he is. He just barreled it."
That will be Randall Delgado's job, as he tries to make a case for a spot in the back end of the Diamondbacks' rotation.
The right-hander failed to do that out of spring training, compiling a 7.45 ERA in six games, and didn't do himself any favors in his only appearance for Arizona this season. In a 7-1 loss at St. Louis on June 3, he was tagged for two runs and four hits - one homer - in two innings of relief.
Since then, Delgado has allowed three runs with 12 strikeouts in 12 2-3 innings in two starts for Triple-A Reno.
"Delgado was up here and got his feet wet this year, went back down worked on some things, threw a good game, (had) better command and he's the guy," Gibson told the team's official website.
Gibson may have been swayed by Delgado's 2-0 record and 1.10 ERA in three starts versus Miami, which has won six of nine.
The Marlins are giving Nathan Eovaldi his season debut after his recovery from shoulder inflammation, which landed him on the disabled list in March.
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in five starts during a minor-league rehabilitation assignment.
"We were really taking it slow, making sure everything felt good," Eovaldi told the team's official website. "After each bullpen and each game, I haven't had any soreness or any type of fatigue. I've been feeling great."
Eovaldi went 3-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 12 starts with the Marlins after being acquired in a trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.
He's 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in five games versus the Diamondbacks, but he's won both of his starts against them - both on the road - while yielding three runs in 11 innings.
The Associated Press News Service
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