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Carrasco Hopes For Better 'D' As Tribe Wraps Up Trip To Arizona

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(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks will close out an interesting three-game series this afternoon at Chase Field, the site of two exciting finishes thus far.

The Indians won Monday's opener by a 5-4 score thanks to Orlando Cabrera's solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Arizona provided late-game heroics of its own last night with Wily Mo Pena's pinch-hit two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Pena replaced winning pitcher Alberto Castillo with two away and clubbed his third home run of the month and season to keep the Diamondbacks 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the NL West lead. The blast also ended a three-game losing streak and put Arizona back into the win column for the seventh time in 12 tries.

"They just told me, you're hitting," said Pena. "I just said I'll go and look for a breaking pitch. Everybody saw the first swing I took. It was so hard because I was looking for a breaking pitch, so the second one, I stepped up and [said]: 'Let him bring it up,' and that's what happened. He just put it a little bit up and I just came and got it."

Kelly Johnson also homered and finished with two RBI and Gerardo Parra recorded three hits and two runs scored for the D'Backs. Castillo posted his first win of the season by getting the final out in the top of the ninth. Daniel Hudson allowed two runs over eight innings in the no-decision and J.J. Putz gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Carlos Santana in the ninth.

Arizona, which will begin a 10-game road trip Friday against Oakland, Milwaukee and St. Louis, is slated to send Zach Duke to the mound Wednesday. Duke is 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA in six starts and has lost two of five trips to the hill since beating Houston in his 2011 debut back on May 28. Duke is coming off Friday's 7-6 win at Detroit in which he was banged around for six runs and seven hits in four innings.

Duke, a left-hander, has allowed 16 runs through his previous three starts and is 0-2 in two outings at home. He is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Indians.

Cleveland is one game behind the Tigers for the top spot in the AL Central and wasted a strong start from Josh Tomlin. Tomlin did not record a decision and limited the D'Backs to two runs in seven innings. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI.

"I felt OK," said Tomlin. "I was just happy and fortunate enough to ... give our bullpen a little break. I was happy with that. I felt in that situation, you have to pitch right there and try and get some runs."

Tony Sipp served up Pena's two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to absorb the loss -- Cleveland's sixth in the previous eight games.

Cleveland right fielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery on his left thumb on Tuesday and is expected to be out eight to 10 weeks. Choo was hit by a pitch Friday at San Francisco and is batting .244 with five home runs and 28 RBI in 72 games this season.

"Before anything went down [on Tuesday], we knew [Choo] was going to be gone for two months," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "That was no secret. But still, there's only so much you can do. You can talk to the other 29 clubs, but they're not going to give up a player if they're in it. And we don't have a player of that caliber in our system. We're just going to have to do the best we can do to have guys pick up the slack and play up to their capabilities."

The Indians will also visit Cincinnati on their nine-game road swing in which they currently own a 1-4 mark on. They had won six of Carlos Carrasco's last seven starts before he dropped a 4-3 verdict at San Francisco the last time out on Friday by the Bay. Carrasco gets the nod today and had won three straight outings before losing to the Giants.

Carrasco yielded four runs -- one earned -- and six hits in eight innings to the defending World Series champions and did not walk a batter. The young righty fell to 7-4 in 14 starts to go along with a 3.62 ERA. He has never faced Arizona and is 4-1 in eight road starts this season.

Arizona and Cleveland are wrapping up their first series since the Indians recorded a three-game sweep at home from June 17-19, 2005. Arizona took two of three matchups in this series in both 2002 and 2003.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.