D-backs set to face Dunn's former club

D-backs set to face Dunn's former club

SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs have seen them already this year, but the Reds lineup they will see at Chase Field this weekend will look a lot different than the one the D-backs opened the season against in Cincinnati.

For one thing, former Reds outfielder Adam Dunn will be wearing a D-backs uniform. Gone as well is outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.

"It's been so long since we've played them," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Even a guy like Bruce, who's been there for quite a while, weren't there when we were there, so it will be a different look."

It will be the first time Dunn has ever faced the team he spent his entire professional career with before coming over in a trade last month.

"It will be fun," Dunn said. "Obviously, I've never been in that situation before, so I'm not sure how it's going to feel. It will be good to see those guys. You stay in a place for 10 years, you're going to make some good friends."

The Reds, who took two of three from the D-backs to open the season, do not have an impressive record, but they have played better of late. Melvin tends to put more stock in a team's recent history rather than their overall record when assessing a matchup.

"When you look during the course of the season, it's more about how you catch a team and how they're playing at the time," he said.

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Brandon Webb (19-7, 3.41 ERA)
Webb struggled his past three times out and has a 12.51 ERA in those starts, the last two of which came against the Dodgers. The struggles come on the heels of an eight-game winning streak. There's been much speculation about Webb's health, but the right-hander maintains that he is completely healthy. He was hit in the ribs with a comebacker in the start before his struggles began, but he said it has not bothered him. Webb's command has been spotty, and he has left his signature slider up in the zone during his losing streak.

CIN: RHP Aaron Harang (4-5, 5.18 ERA)
Harang looked solid on Sunday against the Cubs, but one bad inning almost did him in. With the game tied at 1, Harang led off the seventh inning by beaning the first two batters -- his first two hit batsmen of the year -- to kick-start a two-run Cubs rally. The Reds saved Harang from his 16th loss of the season, though, as they rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to get their ace off the hook. All told, the 30-year-old right-hander went seven innings, gave up three runs on six hits, struck out five and walked three to go along with his two hit batsmen. Harang has not seen the Diamondbacks since Opening Day, when he went six innings, allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out six in taking his first loss of the season. Lifetime, Harang is 2-3 with a 1.70 ERA in seven starts against Arizona.

The D-backs have been looking for something that would be a momentum and energy changer, and they thought they had it in the ninth inning on Tuesday when Chris Snyder hit a game-tying, two-run homer off Giants closer Brian Wilson. If it was, though, it did not last long, as Jon Rauch proceeded to give up the game in the bottom of the ninth. "It was very emotional in the dugout when he hit that home run," Melvin said. "Boy, we really felt good about that. That was the at-bat we were looking for, and we just couldn't follow through in the bottom half." ... Speaking of Rauch, Melvin met with him prior to Wednesday's game. "He's having issues with [command] and confidence," Melvin said. "I was talking to him today, and he's never been through struggles like this before, and he's struggling with how he deals with it." ... Dunn crushed two balls on Tuesday that were caught in front of the wall. "They're definitely home runs at our place," Melvin said. ... Right-hander Edgar Gonzalez, recovering from a torn elbow ligament, threw 25 pitches off the mound on Monday. Gonzalez has been on a program to strengthen his elbow for the last two months. Gonzalez chose that route rather than have Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. "I was surprised to see where he was at," Melvin said of Gonzalez, who will not return this year. "I thought it would take a little bit longer for him to get back up on a mound. I thought there was a very good chance he was going to have to have Tommy John."

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD, KPHE 44 (Español)

On radio
• KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: D-backs (Randy Johnson, 10-9, 4.21) vs. Reds (Edinson Volquez, 16-5, 3.23), 5:10 p.m. MST
• Sunday: D-backs (Max Scherzer, 0-2, 3.00) vs. Reds (Johnny Cueto, 8-13, 4.77), 1:10 p.m. MST
• Monday: D-backs (Doug Davis, 6-8, 4.53) vs. Giants (TBD), 6:40 p.m. MST

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.