PHOENIX (AP) — Zach Duke felt better. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said the left-hander looked better.
The results, though, were depressingly familiar for the Diamondbacks.
The Cleveland Indians got to Duke for four runs and eight hits in the first three innings en route to a 6-2 victory Wednesday. They took two of three from the suddenly struggling Diamondbacks, losers of four of five after surging to first place in the NL West.
"I was working ahead of the count more today than the last couple of times," Duke said. "When I am having success that is what I do. I get ahead in the count and keep the ball down and make them hit the ball on the ground, unfortunately the ground balls found some holes today."
Duke (1-3) broke his left hand when he was hit by a line drive in spring training and was activated from the disabled list on May 28. He has allowed 20 runs in his last four starts, none of them longer than five innings.
"You want to see better results and for him you worry about his confidence," Gibson said. "I talked to him a little after he came out of the game, I thought he actually threw the ball better."
It wasn't just Duke who had a tough day.
"I don't think we played very good today," Gibson said. "Yeah, he gave up nine hits in five innings but we all feel like we could have played better today. Their guy threw the ball very well. They had 15 hits and left 15 on base. They pressured us very well, they outplayed us and they beat us."
Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco allowed solo home runs to Justin Upton and Stephen Drew but otherwise stifled the Diamondbacks through seven innings.
"Unbelievable," Indians teammate Orlando Cabrera said. "Carlos, he's been incredible the last five, six starts. When we need him, he's just been incredible for us."
Carrasco (8-4) gave up four hits, striking out seven with no walks and hit two batters. He has allowed a combined four earned runs while going 4-1 in his last five starts, a span of 36 2-3 innings.
Cabrera, who delivered the deciding home run in the series opener, had a season-high four hits. He doubled, scored twice and drove in a run as the Indians won for just the third time in nine games.
Asdrubal Cabrera added three hits, including a double and an RBI single. The Indians could have made it much worse — they outhit the Diamondbacks 15-4 but stranded a season-high 15 runners.
The series victory came after the Indians scored just four runs while being swept in three games in San Francisco.
"I thought it was a very good bounce-back after yesterday (a 5-4 loss) and after the series in San Francisco," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "Our pitching continues to be good. Carrasco was outstanding."
The Diamondbacks play their next 10 on the road leading up to the All-Star game, in Phoenix on July 12.
NOTES: Gibson said after the game that the team would release 3B Melvin Mora on Thursday. The corresponding move would be made Friday, he said. ... Struggling Arizona closer J.J. Putz is expected to get some time off with what general manager Kevin Towers believes is a "dead arm." ... Entering the game, right-handers were hitting .393 against Duke this season, lefties .115. ... Carrasco had given up four homers all season entering the game. ... This marked the eighth time Upton and brother B.J., who plays for Tampa Bay, homered on the same day. ... Arizona topped 1 million for home attendance this season. ... Juan Miranda is hitless in his last 30 at-bats at Chase Field. ... Cleveland plays a three-game series weekend in Cincinnati to end a nine-game road trip.
- Cleveland Indians
- Arizona manager Kirk Gibson
- Orlando Cabrera
- disabled list