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Given cushion, Corbin in cruise control

Lefty continues D-backs' stretch of impressive starts

SEATTLE -- Patrick Corbin pitched on four days' rest for just the second time since returning from Tommy John surgery Wednesday.

On normal rest, the left-hander came away looking like his normal self in an 8-2 D-backs win over the Mariners, throwing just 80 pitches -- 52 for strikes -- in a six-inning, one-run outing, earning his second win of the season.

The 26-year-old lefty allowed just one extra-base hit and struck out six, giving him five or more strikeouts in four of his five starts. He retired Nelson Cruz, Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo in order in the sixth and had the pitch count to attempt part of the seventh, but D-backs manager Chip Hale decided better of it with his team riding a 7-1 lead.

"He did a nice job. We wanted to limit him today," Hale said of Corbin, who has not thrown more than 89 pitches this season. "We probably could've sent him out there for another inning with his pitch count and gotten a couple outs, but we just figured it was good."

Good was what Hale got for the six innings he did have Corbin. The left-hander threw his slider for strikes, got ahead in counts and was around the strike zone aside from a brief hiccup in the fourth.

Corbin issued back-to-back walks to Kyle Seager and Cruz to start the fourth and allowed a Brad Miller RBI single to left three batters later, but kept the Mariners from climbing back into the ballgame, getting Logan Morrison to pop out to end the inning.

"The fourth inning there, I kind of lost it for the first time with the two walks in a row and then they got the run, but I was able after that to settle back down," Corbin said. "Early on I was thinking about more and more just trying to throw more strikes and be more efficient. Each game, my stuff's getting better and better."

Wednesday's game was tabbed as a pitchers' duel, but an aggressive Arizona offense quickly spoiled Seattle ace Felix Hernandez's day, allowing Corbin to pitch with at least a four-run cushion for the entire afternoon.

Corbin's performance continued a recent string of successful outings for Arizona's starters. In eight of their past 10 games, D-backs pitchers have held opponents under four runs. Arizona has won six of its past seven games and is back to two games under .500 for the first time since July 11.

"I feel like we've been pitching really well lately and the offense has been there all year, so I think this might be the first time of the year where we've got both things clicking on the same page," Corbin said. "If we can continue to do that, we should be making a run here."

Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for
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