After outpitching the reigning NL and World Series MVPs in his first two career outings, Arizona's Archie Bradley squares off against a Texas Rangers starter who has never lost a decision to the Diamondbacks.
The right-hander looks to continue his strong start while trying to help end Yovani Gallardo's perfect run against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Chase Field.
Arizona's highly touted prospect didn't waste any time announcing his presence while allowing one hit in six innings to beat three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 in his major league debut April 11. Five days later, Bradley (1-0, 1.42 ERA) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings to fare better than World Series star Madison Bumgarner in a 7-6, 12-inning victory at San Francisco.
"I feel very comfortable when I get on the mound," Bradley told MLB's official website. "I just feel like I have a very good idea of what to do. I feel very confident in the game plan that we come up with."
The Diamondbacks (7-7) hope that continues as they try to avoid a sixth straight interleague home defeat after falling 7-1 on Tuesday.
Looking for its sixth consecutive victory against the NL, Texas (6-8) should feel confident behind Gallardo (2-1, 3.45).
The right-hander went 8-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 12 regular-season and playoff starts against the Diamondbacks while with Milwaukee. He recorded five of those victories in six starts at Arizona.
Gallardo gave up four runs in four innings of an 8-0 loss at Oakland in his Texas debut April 6, then allowed two over 11 2-3 innings of the last two outings. He scattered six hits in six scoreless innings of a 3-1 victory at Seattle on Friday.
"Get the guys up there ready to swing the bat," Gallardo said of his efficiency. "You show guys you're going to pound the strike zone and mix in your off-speed pitches."
Leading all active pitchers with 12 home runs, Gallardo also is excited to swing the bat again. His first career homer came against the Diamondbacks in 2007.
"It's a little bit different being in the American League but it is important if you're playing interleague games," said Gallardo, who is batting .195 with 42 RBIs in 416 at-bats. "It will feel nice to go out and swing the bat. It takes your mind away from pitching. It relaxes you."
Teammate Prince Fielder, who homered for the first time Tuesday, has looked relaxed while batting .386 with nine RBIs.
''Just trying to get them in and get a pitch I can drive,'' said Fielder, who had three RBIs. ''It's fine, as long as I get the runs in.''
Leonys Martin, Elvis Andrus and Fielder - the first three hitters in the Rangers order - went a combined 6 for 14 with six RBIs on Tuesday.
Including the postseason, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is 7 for 10 with a double versus Gallardo.
Yasmany Tomas, another of Arizona's prized prospects, went 2 for 3 but also committed an error while making his first career start Tuesday at third base.
''We know what we have,'' Hale said of Tomas, who is 3 for 7 in five games. ''We know he can hit. We just need to find some at-bats for him.''