Opposite dugout: Diamondbacks trying to avoid NL West cellar

DiamondbacksLogo.jpgManager: Chip Hale (2nd season)

Record: 64-88

Last 10 games: 6-4

Who to watch: 2B Jean Segura (.317 with 17 HR, 59 RBIs, 30 SB), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.298 with 23 HR, 90 RBIs, 27 SB), LF Yasmany Tomas (29 HR, 75 RBIs), 3B Jake Lamb (28 HR, 88 RBIs), LHP Robbie Ray (8-13, 4.66 ERA, 210 Ks)

Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (3-0 in 2014)

Pitching probables:

Sept. 23: RHP Shelby Miller vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo, 7:05 p.m., MASN2
Sept. 24: LHP Robbie Ray vs. LHP Wade Miley, 7:05 p.m., MASN2
Sept. 25: RHP Braden Shipley vs. RHP Dylan Bundy, 1:35 p.m., MASN2

Inside the Diamondbacks:

The goal for the Diamondbacks in a lost season is a simple one: Stay out of last place in the National League West. There are already some machinations occurring that will change the look for the Snakes. De Jon Watkins, the senior vice president of baseball operations, won't be back, the first front office casualty of a disappointing season. General manager Dave Stewart and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa's jobs could be in jeopardy. Manager Chip Hale's return for a third season is no sure thing. An interleague series at the end of the season may not seem like a battle filled with intrigue, but it's as important to the Diamondbacks - albeit for different reasons - as it is to the Orioles. Second-division clubs like to end seasons on a high note and plenty of the Snakes are playing for next year, whether they remain in Arizona or not.

The Diamondbacks get a lot of hits and steal a lot of bases, but they don't cash in enough runners when they have the chance. That's hard to imagine when you consider that first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is in the middle of their order, slashing .298/.413/.495 with 23 homers, a team-high 90 RBIs and 104 walks. He's done a good job of plating second baseman Jean Segura, who has scored 91 runs and hits .317 with 17 homers. Left fielder Yasmany Tomas has finally blossomed into the power hitter that everyone thought he could be; he's blasted a team-high 29 homers and driven in 75 runs. Third baseman Jake Lamb has been one of the feel-good stories this season, coming out of nowhere to slug 28 homers with 88 RBIs.

Right-hander Shelby Miller, who starts the series opener on Friday night, was supposed to be a stalwart of this staff. That's why the Diamondbacks acquired him from the Braves. Instead, he's made only 18 starts due to finger injuries and posted only two victories with an enigmatic 6.90 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. He's 0-6 in seven starts since his last win on June 20 and has had trouble pitching deep into games. Lefty Robbie Ray has been a workhorse for the Diamondbacks, and he makes his 31st start of the season on Saturday night. Ray has had games this season with 13, 12, 11 and 10 strikeouts, so he's got the stuff to blow through lineups, but he's also yielded 21 homers in 166 innings. Righty Braden Shipley pitches Sunday's finale, and the rookie will be looking for his third win in four decisions over five starts. His 7.27 September ERA signals he could be tiring, so expect the Orioles to be aggressive at the plate.

When the Diamondbacks traded veteran Brad Ziegler to the Red Sox, righty Daniel Hudson took over as closer. So far, he's saved four games in five chances.

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