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Colorado and the Los Angeles Dodgers refuse to lose, so the Arizona Diamondbacks are doing the same in order to keep pace atop the National League West. The Diamondbacks will go for their seventh consecutive victory and a three-game sweep when they visit the major league-worst Philadelphia Phillies for the series finale on Sunday.
Colorado (45-26), Arizona (43-26) and Los Angeles (43-26) are turning the NL West into baseball's most hotly contested division, and the Diamondbacks are the hottest in the bunch with wins in six straight and nine of their last 10. "There's no panic in the dugout with the offense we have," Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb told reporters after the Diamondbacks scored four runs in the seventh inning on Saturday to spark a 5-1 victory. "They go through the lineup a couple of times with no runs, we're not worried at all about it because we know we can have that big inning." The Phillies are not as explosive offensively and own the worst record in the majors at 22-45 after dropping 10 of their last 11. Philadelphia will try to avoid another sweep behind rookie Ben Lively while Arizona counters with Robbie Ray on Sunday.
TV: 1:35 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks LH Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.62 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Ben Lively (1-1, 3.00)
Ray is enjoying a string of five straight dominant wins in which he allowed a total of one run over 37 innings while recording 48 strikeouts. The 25-year-old is well on his way to a second straight 200-strikeout season with 107 in 82 1/3 frames and is limiting opponents to a .184 batting average. Ray is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 12 total innings against Philadelphia in his career.
Lively is making his fourth career start and aiming for his fourth consecutive quality start. The 25-year-old went seven innings in each of his first three turns but could not get enough support from his offense to record a win in the last two outings. Lively, who has registered just five strikeouts in 21 frames, held Boston to three runs and eight hits while walking two in a no-decision on Tuesday.
1. Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt is 10-for-23 with eight RBIs in his last five games.
2. Phillies 1B Tommy Joseph hit safely in each of his last 13 contests.
3. Lamb is 2-for-4 with five walks in the series.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 2