Diamondbacks-Angels Preview

Jeremy Hellickson entered May with a 1-3 record and 5.24 ERA. He's since gone eight starts without losing, but that hardly summarizes the last month and a half of his work.

The right-hander is last in the majors in home runs per nine innings during the unbeaten run, and his ERA has actually increased from a rather high starting point.

Angel Stadium, however, might be just the place for him to get those numbers more in line with the unblemished loss column. He gets the opportunity as the Arizona Diamondbacks try to match their longest winning streak of the season Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

Hellickson (4-3, 5.29 ERA) hasn't lost since April 26, but his ERA has gone up in that time from 5.24. After allowing five runs in 3 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 7-6 road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 5.32 ERA in the unbeaten streak thanks in part to a 5.73 run-support average.

He's allowed 10 home runs in those eight games for a major league-worst 2.05 homers per nine innings rate.

In his days in the AL, Hellickson went 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA in five starts against the Angels, and he's 2-0 without allowing a run in 11 1-3 innings over his only two starts in Anaheim. He's held Albert Pujols to 1 for 8 with four strikeouts, but Mike Trout is 2 for 4 with a home run and a double in the matchup.

After Monday's 7-3 victory to open the two-game series that precedes two more meetings in Arizona, the Diamondbacks (31-32) have won four straight, with their only five-game run coming May 18-22. They can return to .500 for the first time since being 8-8 on April 24.

Pitching has keyed the streak. All three runs allowed Monday were unearned, leaving the staff with a 0.50 ERA.

The bullpen, which had a 4.04 ERA entering play June 5, has posted a 1.35 mark in 26 2-3 innings over 10 games.

Paul Goldschmidt continued his offensive tear Monday, going 3 for 4 with a three-run homer and a double to leave him at 13 for 20 with a 1.758 OPS in his last five. He's also reached base in 25 straight games, though he'll be in a slightly different role Tuesday as manager Chip Hale plans to use him as the designated hitter.

"I think he's fine with it," Hale told MLB's official website. "He understands that he needs a rest sometimes but his bat will still be in there."

Los Angeles (32-32) has lost back-to-back games and scored five runs in the last three, which could put some pressure on Garrett Richards (6-4, 3.97).

The right-hander overcame probably the worst start of his career with Thursday's 6-2 road win over Tampa Bay, limiting the Rays to two runs and four hits in seven innings. He allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning in an 8-2 loss to the New York Yankees on June 6.

"I worked on some things in my bullpen (sessions) this week, sticking my landing and finishing square. That's what I did last year and that's why I was successful, so I'm getting back to that," Richards said.

His last two starts came on the road, and Richards has gone 7-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 12 home starts dating to June 9, 2014. He threw eight scoreless innings in his only start against Arizona in 2012 for a win, and he's 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA in eight career starts against the NL.

Diamondbacks right fielder and leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte was taken out with a right hamstring strain Monday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.