It’s been a long season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and that sentiment was painfully apparent Thursday in downtown Phoenix.
The Kansas City Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie began the contest with a 7-9 record and a 4.50 ERA, but he looked like a top-of-the-staff starter against a Diamondbacks roster full of players that began the season in the minor leagues.
Guthrie did allow seven hits, but Arizona only managed to drive in two runs off him. The 35-year-old Kansas City starter went the whole nine innings and struck out four while not walking a single batter in 109 pitches.
The Royals not only won the game 6-2, but they handed the Diamondbacks’ their first sweep in almost three months. Arizona fell to 49-66 (fourth in the NL West), while Kansas City is now just 2.5 games back of first in the AL Central with a 60-53 record.
Here’s a look at Thursday’s contest by the numbers:
Recently called up third baseman Jake Lamb, 23, got the first hit and first RBI of his young MLB career. It all happened in one swing in his second at-bat, as he hit the ball to shallow left, scoring Mark Trumbo from third. Lamb finished 1-for-4 in his first game. He became just the ninth Diamondback to record a hit and an RBI in his Major League debut — and the first since John Hester reached the feat on Aug. 28, 2009.
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Arizona has now played five games since losing leading slugger Paul Goldschmidt to the disabled list. The D-backs have lost four of those contests.
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Diamondbacks starter Vidal Nuno went just 4.0 innings and 57 pitches, and he allowed seven hits and five earned runs (including a two-run homer) while striking out only one batter. It was his shortest outing since joining Arizona, and he dropped to 0-3 with the team. He also has now allowed five home runs in his six starts for the club.
The Diamondbacks got five runners into scoring position Thursday, but only were able to drive in one. The Royals, meanwhile, plated five of the seven runners that were in scoring position.
Only one D-backs position player, super rookie David Peralta, failed to get a hit Thursday. Every other starter else had one hit apiece. Leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte extended his hitting streak to seven games, and is now batting .247 after going 1-for-4 in the series finale.
Guthrie’s complete game was the eighth of his career, and the first in which he didn’t walk a batter. He retired 21 of the last 24 batters, including the final 19. His ERA dropped to 4.35 in the win.
Trumbo recorded an infield hit in the third inning and got his 26th RBI of the year with a sacrifice fly (scoring Inciarte) in the first frame. His 26 RBI are actually fourth for Diamondbacks players that are still on the team (not counting the departed Martin Prado and Gerardo Parra).
Thursday’s crowd was actually the biggest of the series, but it was still only 17,809 people — 36.6 percent of Chase Field’s capacity.
Kansas City became the first club to sweep the Diamondbacks since the St. Louis Cardinals did so at home in a three-game series in late May.