This weekend is the fourth series between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks this season, but Saturday marks the first time in 2016 Scott Kazmir will face Arizona. The first inning could be key.
In 20 starts this season Kazmir has allowed 18 runs in the opening frame, posting an 8.10 ERA in the first. In all other innings, Kazmir's ERA is 3.51.
The left-hander has only allowed seven runs in his four July starts, though two of those runs came in the first inning. When Kazmir allows a first-inning run this season the Dodgers are 6-5 in those games, and 6-3 in Kazmir's other starts.
When Kazmir allows multiple runs in the first, the Dodgers are 3-3, compared to 9-5 in his other starts.
The Diamondbacks didn't score in the first inning on Friday night, but heading into the weekend series Arizona scored in the first inning in nine of their last 10 games, scoring a total of 18 first-inning runs during that span.
With 70 first-inning runs on the season, 11 more runs than they have scored in any other inning, the Diamondbacks are second in the National League to the Nationals. The Dodgers rank fourth with 66 runs in the first, their top inning in both runs scored and run differential (+22) in 2016.
Arizona has outscored their opponents by 15 runs in the first inning, but in all other innings have been outscored by a total of 98 runs. The second inning (+1) is the only inning (with every inning past the ninth lumped together as extras) in which the Diamondbacks haven't been outscored in 2016.
Diamondbacks roster moves
Arizona before Saturday's game called up left-handed pitchers Steve Hathaway and Adam Loewen from Triple-A Reno, and sent down reliever Zac Curtis, who took the loss on Friday night, to Reno.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Diamondbacks designated pitcher Josh Collmenter and utility man Mike Freeman for assignment.