Joe Saunders pitched seven innings of almost perfect baseball to help the Diamondbacks beat the Colorado Rockies 6-2. He struck out a career-tying nine batters, while giving up three hits and walking just one batter. The last time Saunders struck out nine batters in a game was September 28, 2008 against the Texas Rangers, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels. Saunders faced 26 batters on the night, and other than giving up back-to-back home runs to Michael Cuddyer in the fourth and sixth innings, Saunders was pretty much lights out. The only other blemish on the night was a single by relief pitcher Josh Roenicke in the fifth inning, which just so happened to be the first major league hit of his career.
Saunders was pretty satisfied with his outing, saying that he "was getting ahead of guys" all night. This was his third outing since being put on the disabled list on June 23, after suffering a strained throwing shoulder. In regards to being put on the DL, Saunders said, "I was not pleased. Nobody likes to be put on the DL." Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson said that taking the time off would help "strengthen him (Saunders) for the rest of the season."
After being pulled from tonight's game in the seventh inning, Saunders also said that nobody wants to be pulled from the game, but understood that everyone has a role on the team, and he played his role tonight. Saunders has started three games since coming back from the DL, and has given up a total of eight earned runs in 19 innings. He has a total of 18 strikeouts while giving up 15 hits in those three outings. The Diamondbacks, who stand at (49-48), have now won five games in a row, and will be looking for a sweep against the Colorado Rockies tomorrow night.