Joe Saunders seems to have found his groove in the summer months. After a one-hour-plus rain delay to the start of the game, he pitched five shutout innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday evening to continue , though a second weather delay shortened his stint.
Saunders has now won five of his last seven decisions and has his ERA down to 3.86 after suffering a brutal start to the season.
After Saunders left the game, Micah Owings allowed one earned run in his sixth inning appearance, while new call-ups Alberto Castillo and Yhency Brazoban kept things scoreless in the seventh and eighth. David Hernandez, filling in at the closer spot for J.J. Putz, got the save.
Home Run Derby snub (yes, it has been mentioned again) Justin Upton hit his fifteenth home run — this one a two-run bomb in the top of the sixth. Sean Burroughs’ sac fly in the first inning and Ryan Roberts’s RBI single in the seventh rounded out the offense for the D-backs.
It was a good way to start off the team’s final series before the All-Star break. Ace Ian Kennedy is still holding onto hope that he can be placed into the game — though at this point, it will have to be as an alternate. In Phoenix’s first opportunity to host the game, only one D-back — Upton — is currently representing the home team.