Arizona Diamondbacks cleanup hitter Christian Walker put his team's recent three-game losing streak to the Philadelphia Phillies in perspective
"Any time you can consider 0-3 a tough stretch, the team as a whole, we're in a great spot," Walker said after Arizona defeated the Cleveland Guardians 5-1 on Friday night in the series opener to snap the three-game skid
"Yeah, it's unfortunate to drop those games, but also to get back on the right path, turn the page, that's exactly what we were looking for in Game 1 (against Cleveland)."
The teams will meet again Saturday night in Phoenix.
Walker went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in Friday's victory, which enabled the first-place Diamondbacks to take a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West
"The roller coaster of the game, trying to harness the good times as much as possible," Walker said of the recent struggles. "Try to shorten the not-so-good times. If you do the work and put the reps in, the game will handle itself."
Cleveland will start right-hander Shane Bieber (5-3, 3.29 ERA) against Arizona left-hander Tommy Henry (3-1, 4.86) on Saturday in a rematch from a game last season between the starters at Cleveland.
The Aug. 3 game was the only time the pitchers have faced either team in their careers.
Henry made his big-league debut in that game. He allowed four runs on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings in Arizona's 7-4 loss.
Bieber allowed four hits in six innings and tallied eight strikeouts with no walks. He gave up two earned runs and got the win.
Friday's scheduled starter for Cleveland -- right-hander Triston McKenzie -- was scratched because of a sore right elbow.
Right-hander Touki Toussaint, the Diamondbacks' first-round draft pick in 2014, had his contract selected from Triple-A Columbus (Ohio) and started in place of McKenzie. He gave up two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings, walked five and struck out two. He took the loss
Cleveland also designated for assignment veteran catcher Mike Zunino, who will be replaced by catcher Bo Naylor, 23, from Columbus.
Zunino, 32, batted .177 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 42 games with Cleveland this season.
Naylor, who will join the Guardians on Saturday, batted .253 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs with Columbus
"When Bo gets here, it will be exciting," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "It's another young kid we think can help us win."
Naylor is a younger brother of Cleveland first baseman Josh Naylor.
Arizona's three consecutive losses at home to the Phillies prompted Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo to cancel batting practice before Friday's game
"They've been on edge, playing on edge," Lovullo said. "Every once a while, it's up to me to pull back. They'll continue to work. They'll continue to go. I just felt like it was up to me to make everybody set back."
Cleveland also did not partake in batting practice after playing Thursday night at San Diego and arriving in Phoenix in the early-morning hours.
--Field Level Media