Scherzer seeks first win as D-backs hit road

Scherzer seeks first win as D-backs hit road

PHOENIX -- If it seems like the D-backs have been home for the whole month of April, it's because they have been.

Well, almost.

The D-backs have played 18 of their first 21 games at Chase Field, just the fourth time since 1900 that a team has had that many home games in April. They get to start picking up some frequent-flier miles starting Thursday, when they begin an eight-game road trip against the Brewers at Miller Park.

After a four-game series with Milwaukee, Arizona travels to Los Angeles and San Diego for two games apiece.

"I think everybody is," Arizona manager bob Melvin said when asked about whether his team was looking forward to going on the road. "We just haven't played well here at the start. Sometimes a little change of scenery is good for a team."

Maybe the road will be where Max Scherzer finally notches his first big league win. The right-hander has appeared in 19 Major League games over the course of the last year and is still looking for that elusive victory.

"For him, he just needs to get his pitch counts down so he can be out there for the decisions," Melvin said. "And really, the first four innings or so of his starts this year, he has been very good about that. It seems like it's one inning that bogs him down. It's just a matter of being out there deeper in games. He's going to get his share of wins. We expect him to be a top-of-the-rotation guy. It just hasn't happened yet for him to this point."

It may just be a couple of small things that have prevented Scherzer from keeping his pitch count down and staying on the mound longer. So far this year, he has not been able to get past the fifth inning.

"I've done some positive things in my starts and just done a couple of bad things," Scherzer said. "If I can correct some of those little mistakes, then I can get deeper into games."

Any added pressure in trying to get that first win?

"I'm more concerned with the team getting a win," he said. "Your job as a starter really is to go out there and give you team a chance to win. That's really all I focus on, just going out there and taking care of what I have to do."

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Max Scherzer (0-2, 4.91 ERA)
Scherzer cruised through the first four innings of his last start against the Giants, but ran into a buzz saw in the fifth. The right-hander allowed four runs in the inning and ended up on the short end of a 5-3 decision. Scherzer is still looking for his first Major League win after 19 big league games, 10 of which have been starts. Scherzer began the season on the disabled list after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder in January. He has yet to pitch past the fifth inning this year, in large part because his pitch count tends to rise early in his starts.

MIL: RHP Jeff Suppan (1-2, 7.32 ERA)
Suppan lasted six innings on Saturday in Houston and did not figure in the decision. He allowed only four hits, but two of those were home runs by Carlos Lee and Michael Bourn. One of the four runs the Astros scored was unearned and Suppan left for a pinch-hitter with the game tied at 4. Seeking his second win in a row, he struck out four, walked three and threw 98 pitches. Suppan is 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight career games against Arizona.

Tidbits
Tom Gordon came through his first appearance since last July with flying colors. The right-hander tossed a scoreless inning on Tuesday night and said it was the first time he had pitched without pain since before the 2006 All-Star break. ... Though his win-loss record is not very good at 2-3, Melvin made a spirited case for Dan Haren to be the National League's Pitcher of the Month. With a little run support, Haren could easily be 5-0. In his first three starts of the year, the D-backs scored a total of one run for him. Only Johan Santana (1.10) has a better ERA in the month than Haren (1.54). ... Milwaukee has not been a fun place for the D-backs in recent years. Arizona is 4-11 there over the past five seasons. Last year, the Brewers swept the D-backs in a three-game series. Overall, the D-backs are 37-40 against the Brew Crew.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSA

On radio
• KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Diamondbacks (Jon Garland, 2-1, 5.47) at Brewers (Manny Parra, 0-4, 6.52), 5:05 p.m. MST
• Saturday: Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 2-3, 1.54) at Brewers (Braden Looper, 2-0, 2.45), 4:05 p.m. MST
• Sunday: Diamondbacks (Yusmeiro Petit, 0-2, 8.62) at Brewers (Dave Bush, 1-0, 4.50), 11:05 a.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.