Dose of Venom: Diamondbacks leave door open for Giants, fall in Chase Field opener
The 2014 season starts with reminders of an all-too-familiar 2013 campaign.
Much like last season, the D-backs' bullpen could not protect a lead. Asked to close a 7-3 ballgame, relievers Oliver Perez, Brad Ziegler and Addison Reed combined to allow four runs on six hits, including a home run to Buster Posey as the D-backs were outscored 6-1 after the sixth inning and lost 9-8 to the Giants in front of a sold out crowd of 48,541 at Chase Field.
"Terrible pitch, good swing," said Reed of the Posey two-out, two-run home run in the ninth. "It was right over the middle of the plate. Anybody is going to hit that a long way. I missed my spot and he made me pay for it."
The Diamondbacks, now 0-3, had previously won four straight home openers.
Starter Brandon McCarthy pitched well, at least well enough to deserve a better fate. He retired the first six batters he faced before allowing a run in the third inning. He set the Giants down in order again in the fourth but then gave up a run in the fifth and a run in the sixth -- a home run to Brandon Belt.
"Overall, there's about one pitch I would really like to have back on the day and that was just a terrible pitch to Belt," said McCarthy, who gave up five runs on six hits in 6.2 innings. "Other than that, I thought I pitched well."
The Diamondbacks jumped in front 6-2 thanks to a four-run fourth inning in which all the runs off left-hander Madison Bumgarner were unearned. Gerardo Parra drove in two of the runs. He finished with three RBI.
After scoring just six runs in 18 innings against the Dodgers in Australia, the Diamondbacks plated eight on 16 hits back stateside.
"We swing the bats much better," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We got to take this. It stings a bit, but we're going to have to regroup and come back (Tuesday)."
Paul Goldschmidt's two-out double in the third inning extended his hitting streak to 22 games, the longest active streak in the majors. It's also the third-longest streak in club history, behind Luis Gonzalez (30, April 11-May 18, 1999) and Tony Womack (24, May 2-29, 2000).
Miguel Montero's ninth inning home run -- his third hit of the game -- was the first home run allowed by Sergio Romo against the Diamondbacks since Aug. 28, 2010 at AT&T Park (Adam LaRoche).
Mark Trumbo and Chris Owings each had three hits. Trumbo reached base in his first four at-bats. He and Aaron Hill each had two RBI.
Perez failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in his Diamondbacks' Chase Field debut. He allowed two runs on three hits.
A.J. Pollock was the lone position player to not record at least one hit, going hitless in six plate appearances, including four strikeouts.
After a leadoff single, Trumbo made the first out of the second inning. He was called out trying to go first to third on a base hit to right field by Miguel Montero.
Stat of the game:
The Diamondbacks went 6-for-19 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
He said it:
"There's a lot of good things that happened throughout the game," Goldschmidt said. "There were some good defensive plays. Brandon pitched well. Some guys had some good hits, some good at-bats. It wasn't all negative. But in the end, we weren't able to score enough runs. Just go get them (Tuesday)."
McCarthy in the first inning struck out the side, something he did once all of last season (April 16 at Yankees, 4th inning). He struck out the side in the first inning for the first time since April 9, 2009 vs. the Cleveland Indians while with the Rangers.
Parra, 1-for-14 (.071) lifetime against Bumgarner, singled off the left-hander to drive in two runs in the fourth inning. He recorded four RBI against left-handed pitchers all of last season, and his last hit off a lefty that resulted in two or more RBI was a two-run single off Wesley Wright on July 22, 2012 vs. Astros.
Goldschmidt and Parra received their 2013 Rawlings Gold Gloves as part of Opening Day pregame festivities. Goldschmidt also was presented with his 2013 Louisville Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron and Mel Ott Awards. Parra also presented with the 2013 Wilson NL Defensive Player of the Year award.
Wade Miley, coming off his first career Opening Day start, gets the ball in game two of the four-game series against the Giants. Miley, 0-1 after allowing three runs in five innings with eight strikeouts in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia, will be opposed by right-hander Matt Cain, who is 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 32 career starts against the D-backs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Craig Grialou, Reporter
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