"I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Saunders, who was acquired as part of the trade that sent Dan Haren to the Angels. "It's going to be fun to go out there with my new club and pitch. I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm anxious to get out there."
Against the Rangers, Saunders allowed one run on seven hits over seven innings and struck out six in his last outing. Overall, he's 6-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 starts against the National League, including a 1-0 record with a 2.57 ERA in one start against the Phillies.
The experience against the NL should help -- at least, the D-backs hope it does Thursday. Following Wednesday's 7-1 victory, the Phillies are riding a 10-game winning streak and Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick, who was demoted earlier this month, has something to prove.
Consistency has been a problem for Kendrick. He's gone six-plus innings and allowed two or fewer runs eight times but has an 8.73 ERA in his 11 other starts.
Kendrick gave up one run on six hits in seven innings against the Rockies in his last outing.
"I definitely tried to use it positively and show some people wrong, I guess," Kendrick said. "Show that I belong here. That's what I tried to do."
As for Saunders, who spent his entire career with the Angels, he is still getting used to his new organization.
"I've got to learn new signs and new tricks to the club, how they like to work," he said. "It's going to be fun."
D-backs: Johnson getting on a roll
Kelly Johnson went 1-for-4 Wednesday and has hit safely in nine of his last 13 games. ... Justin Upton is still day-to-day with right hip tightness. "I hit in the cage, tested it out," Upton said. "I didn't feel much at all, so that's a good sign." Upton is riding a 13-game hitting streak. ... Brandon Webb had to cut short his bullpen session Wednesday, because he said his arm wasn't loosening up properly. He will try to throw again on Thursday or Friday. ... Ryan Ryal has hit safely in four out of his last five games. ... The D-backs are 11-10 against the NL East this season.
Phillies: Victorino lands on disabled list
Shane Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left abdominal muscle on Wednesday and could be out for several weeks. ... Jimmy Rollins missed his second consecutive game Wednesday with a sore left foot. He could miss a few more games. ... Jamie Moyer will seek a second opinion on his injured left elbow.
Chris Young is three home runs shy of reaching 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases for the second time in his career. ... It was announced that the D-backs' prospects will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 2010 Arizona Fall League. ... Philadelphia currently has three players on the disabled list (Victorino, Moyer and Chase Utley) and has had 14 players spend time on the DL this season. ... The Phillies are hosting 1980s Retro Night before and during Thursday's game.
Thu, 7/29 7:05 PM ET
Crazy 8's: Phils walk off for eighth straight win
After acquiring Roy Oswalt earlier in the day, the red-hot Phillies notched their eighth straight victory when Wilson Valdez laced a walk-off single to center field in the 11th inning to complete a sweep of the D-backs.
|Young, Ch, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||0||.266|
|Johnson, K, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||1||.274|
|Upton, J, RF||4||1||1||0||1||2||0||.280|
|LaRoche, Ad, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.254|
|Reynolds, Ma, 3B||3||0||1||0||2||1||1||.217|
|Drew, S, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.265|
|Parra, G, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||6||.255|
|Saunders, J, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|b-Abreu, T, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
1-Ran for LaRoche, Ad in the 9th.
|Francisco, B, RF||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.246|
|Valdez, W, SS||5||0||3||1||0||0||0||.239|
|Kendrick, K, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.094|
|Romero, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Upton, J (22, Madson).
HR: Montero (3, 7th inning off Kendrick, K, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Johnson, K; Upton, J 2; LaRoche, Ad; Montero 5; Reynolds, Ma; Drew, S.
RBI: Montero 2 (18).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Montero.
GIDP: Johnson, K; Parra, G 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 7.
DP: (Drew, S-Johnson, K-LaRoche, Ad).
2B: Polanco 2 (19, Saunders, J, Vasquez), Ruiz (15, Saunders, J).
HR: Ibanez (9, 6th inning off Saunders, J, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Polanco 4; Ibanez 4; Francisco, B; Ransom 2; Ruiz 3; Valdez, W 3; Kendrick, K.
RBI: Ruiz (18), Ibanez (49), Valdez, W (23).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ruiz; Polanco 2; Ransom; Howard 2.
SAC: Kendrick, K.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 10.
SB: Francisco, B (4, 2nd base off Saunders, J/Montero), Ransom (1, 2nd base off Saunders, J/Montero).
E: Howard (11, missed catch).
Outfield assists: Ibanez (Montero at 2nd base).
DP: 3 (Howard-Valdez, W-Kendrick, K, Polanco-Valdez, W-Howard 2).
IBB: Ibanez (by Vasquez), Reynolds, Ma (by Romero, J).
Pitches-strikes: Saunders, J 109-71, Heilman 25-18, Vasquez 41-21, Kendrick, K 102-63, Durbin 4-2, Madson 12-9, Romero, J 17-6, Lidge 12-11, Contreras 19-9.
Groundouts-flyouts: Saunders, J 8-6, Heilman 3-1, Vasquez 1-1, Kendrick, K 5-2, Durbin 1-0, Madson 2-0, Romero, J 2-0, Lidge 0-1, Contreras 0-1.
Batters faced: Saunders, J 28, Heilman 6, Vasquez 10, Kendrick, K 24, Durbin 2, Madson 4, Romero, J 5, Lidge 3, Contreras 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Durbin 1-0, Romero, J 1-1.
Ejections: Arizona D-backs left fielder Gerardo Parra ejected by 1B umpire Adrian Johnson (9th).
Umpires: HP: Mike Everitt. 1B: Adrian Johnson. 2B: Tim McClelland. 3B: Andy Fletcher.
Weather: 89 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 12 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media