video thumbnail

PHI@ARI: Corbin hurls 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball

Randy Johnson won four National League Cy Young Awards with the D-backs, and Brandon Webb won one. Others, such as Curt Schilling and Dan Haren, made multiple All-Star appearances with the club.

Yet none of those well-known hurlers ever did what Patrick Corbin has done in an Arizona uniform this season. The 23-year-old left-hander is the first pitcher in franchise history to throw at least six innings and allow no more than two runs in each of his first seven starts.

Corbin will try to continue that streak on Tuesday night when the D-backs host the Braves in the second game of a three-game series looking to end a three-game skid. Atlanta took Monday's opener, 10-1, in Justin Upton's much-hyped return to Chase Field, snapping a three-game losing streak and maintaining sole possession of first place in the National League East.

Despite barely making the team out of Spring Training, Corbin has soared to a 5-0 record with a 1.75 ERA. Last season he posted a 4.54 ERA in 22 games, and in his 17 starts, only six times did he go at least six innings with no more than two runs. What accounts for the difference?

"Just maturing and understanding his abilities," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He has developed his pitches and he's much better at locating them. His velocity has ticked up a bit too because he's growing into his frame. He understands game plans and executes them. He's just good at all facets. He's highly competitive and he's not intimidated by any situation."

Corbin's counterpart on Tuesday, Atlanta's Julio Teheran, is still trying to make that leap. But he has been showing signs of progress lately.

Teheran (2-0, 4.84) allowed at least four runs in each of his first three starts, but the 22-year-old righty has held the opposition to three or fewer in each of his last three. On Thursday at San Francisco, he gave up an RBI single and two-run homer to Buster Posey but no other runs over seven innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk.

"You can't hang a slider to Buster Posey," catcher Brian McCann said. "That's what he'll do. [Teheran] knows that. But when you take that whole outing as a whole, he was on his game. He made one mistake to Posey and that was about it. He's going to build off this and get better and better."

Braves: First game back out the way for Upton
• Upton disputed the notion that there might be added pressure or adrenaline in his return to Arizona after the offseason trade to Atlanta.

"All this leading up to it is a little bit more than what the game will be," he said during a pregame news conference. "It's not Game 7 of the World Series and there's going to be a lot of games that come after this one, so I take it in stride and play three games on the road and get back home."

Upton was the D-backs' first pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and played for the club from 2007-12, making two NL All-Star teams. In his first game against them, he went 4-for-5 with a double and a massive home run to center field.

• B.J. Upton left Monday's game with a left shoulder contusion after he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. His availability is day to day.

D-backs: Change of approach for Prado
Martin Prado hasn't been himself so far this season, but he's hoping this series against his former team could be the start of a rebound. Prado came to Arizona as part of the Upton trade, and the career .291 hitter entered Monday at .223.

"I was trying to make them believe in what I can do, but it wasn't working," Prado said. "I was trying to be someone else."

Prado believes a more relaxed mindset could help him rediscover his form. He went 2-for-2 on Monday after going 0-for-9 over his previous two games.

Worth noting
• Teheran's second Major League start came at Chase Field on May 18, 2011, when he gave up two runs over four innings. However, only two current D-backs have faced Teheran. Miguel Montero is 0-for-2, and Gerardo Parra is 1-for-2.

• Corbin's only experience against Atlanta came last year, when he threw three scoreless innings during a relief appearance. Comments