The Diamondbacks, who are on a bit of a roll right now, will host the Oakland Athletics this weekend in the second interleague series of the year. During their last meeting with an AL team, the D-backs reigned victorious, winning two out of three games against the Kansas City Royals in May.
After distancing themselves a bit from the Colorado Rockies, the D-backs find themselves currently 9.5 games out of first place in the NL West. Arizona is looking to get back in the race and will need a third consecutive series win to help their cause.
Arizona's play has been better as of late. Despite Justin Upton not being in the lineup for the past two games due to managerial decisions, the Diamondbacks managed to score 16 runs against Colorado, helping them to improve their home record to 12-16. The Oakland A's are just 13-16 on the road in 2012.
This series could come down to which roster boasts the better young prospects. For the D-backs, continued production from the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Gerardo Parra and others will be key. In Oakland, fans are hoping to see the young Cuban phenom, Yoenis Cespedes back in the lineup.
Perhaps the most interesting storyline of this series is the pitching matchup on Saturday night. The Diamondbacks will send Trevor Cahill to the mound, who was acquired from the A's in the off-season. In return, Oakland will put to work one of the players they got from the D-backs in that trade: Jarrod Parker. The last time Parker pitched, he nearly went for a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, an explosive hitting ball club in their own right.
Here are the probable pitching matchups for this three game series.
Friday: Tommy Milone (6-5, 3.53) vs. Daniel Hudson (2-1, 4.65)
Saturday: Jarrod Parker (2-2, 2.40) vs. Trevor Cahill (3-5, 3.45)
Sunday: Travis Blackley (4.79) vs. Joe Saunders (3-4, 3.65)