Arizona not impressive in 9 game homestand
The Arizona Diamondbacks concluded a disappointing homestand with a lopsided defeat.
In losing 12-7 to the St. Louis Cardinals on a windswept Wednesday, the D-backs ended their season-opening stretch of nine games at the friendly confines of Chase Field with a 3-6 record.
“We didn’t win one series,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin lamented after Wednesday’s setback. “You know, you go 3 and 6, not what we were looking for.”
Through the first week and a half of the season, the Diamondbacks have scored 38 runs and have allowed 58. Their team batting average stands at .241, while their pitching staff has compiled an ERA of 6.04.
After dropping two out of three games in three consecutive home series (against the Rockies, Dodgers and Cardinals), the Diamondbacks will hit the road for a weekend set in San Francisco against the Giants.
“We’re going to have to keep encouraged,” Melvin said. “We get on the road here for a three-game series. We have to start playing better, whether it’s offensively and defensively at the same time, whether it’s pitching and offense at the same time. Our timing hasn’t been good as far as that goes. Our offense we’ve had a couple of games, pitching a couple games, just not timing it real well.”
Wednesday’s loss was mainly attributable to the pitching staff, as Arizona starter Jon Garland (1-1, 8.44 ERA) surrendered seven runs and reliever Yusmeiro Petit allowed four more.
The Diamondbacks operated in catch-up mode all day, as the Cardinals tallied five runs in the third inning to grab a 6-0 lead and scored four times in the sixth to pull ahead 11-5. The Redbirds totaled 13 hits off five D-backs pitchers. Chris Duncan and Yadier Molina each finished with three hits and two RBIs, while Ryan Ludwick connected for a two-run homer and a run-producing single.
After scoring the game’s first run in the top of the second on a two-out base hit by Molina, the Cardinals erupted for five in the third.
The inning began when Garland walked pitcher Joel Pineiro, who stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a double off the top of the left-field fence by Colby Rasmus. After Albert Pujols was issued an intentional walk, Ludwick singled in one run and Duncan doubled home two more. Molina drove in the fifth run of the inning with a two-out single.
The Diamondbacks answered with four runs in the bottom of the third on a one-out double by Felipe Lopez, RBI doubles by Conor Jackson and Chad Tracy, and a two-out, two-run homer by Mark Reynolds. Reynolds’ towering fly ball landed in the seats just to the right of center field for his second homer of the season.
The Cardinals increased their lead to 7-4 in the fourth inning when Skip Schumaker doubled and eventually scored on a groundout by Pujols. After walking Ludwick and Duncan with two outs, Garland was replaced on the mound by Doug Slaten, who retired Khalil Greene on a flyout to end the inning.
After the D-backs drew to within 7-5 in the bottom of the fifth on consecutive doubles by Chris Young and Justin Upton, the Redbirds responded by tallying four runs in the sixth off Petit. A double by Pujols drove in Rasmus with the first run of the inning, and Ludwick followed with a two-run homer, his third of the year. The Cardinals tacked on an unearned run when Greene reached on a two-base throwing error by Reynolds and scored on a single by Joe Thurston.
The Diamondbacks scored twice in the bottom of the sixth off left-handed reliever Trever Miller. Pinch-hitter Eric Byrnes led off the frame with his first home run of the year. A sacrifice fly by Tracy brought home another run later in the inning.
The Cardinals scored the final run of the game in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Schumaker.
Pineiro (2-0, 5.40 ERA) earned the win for St. Louis, despite allowing five runs on nine hits in five innings.
By: Tom Kessler
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