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Arizona Diamondbacks

Dose of Venom: McCarthy's start wasted in loss to Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon McCarthy throws a pitch to a Washington Nationals batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo)

Matt Williams 2, Kirk Gibson 1.

Bragging rights for the ex-Diamondback Williams, who led the Nationals past his former employer 5-1 in front of an afternoon crowd of 18,325 at Chase Field Wednesday to take two of three in the series.

Both Washington wins were in come-from-behind fashion.

Monday, it was Addison Reed allowing tying and go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning.

Wednesday, it was Brad Ziegler, one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen, allowing four runs in the ninth.

"Those don't happen very often off of him," Williams said. With the score tied at one, Ziegler gave up a four-pitch leadoff walk to Denard Span followed by a double off the right field wall by Anthony Rendon. Jayson Werth was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Ian Desmond hit the first pitch he saw from Ziegler for a two-run single. One out later, it was Tyler Moore with a two-run single to make it a four-run inning.

"Just left a couple of balls up," said Ziegler, who had his 19-game scoreless streak snapped. "I had decent stuff, just didn't execute pitches that well."

Starter Brandon McCarthy certainly deserved a better fate. He went eight strong innings, bouncing back nicely from his last start when he allowed seven runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings at the White Sox.

McCarthy retired the first 12 hitters he faced and 15 of the first 16, losing the perfect game and no-hit bid on Desmond's infield single to open the fifth. He finished with one run allowed, a Werth homer in the seventh, on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

For the first time in the series, the Diamondbacks scored first. Aaron Hill's one-out solo blast in the fourth was the team's one and only run to cross home plate as right-hander Doug Fister (one run in seven innings) matched McCarthy pitch-for-pitch.

"It's disappointing," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They had a good pitcher, we had a good pitcher and our guy who hasn't given up (runs) gave it up today."

THE GOOD

McCarthy pitched a season-high eight innings. He retired the final six batters he faced after allowing the home run to Werth. McCarthy can hit, too. His one-out single to center in the fifth was his second of the season. D-backs starting pitchers batted .571 (4-for-7) with two runs scored in the series.

Hill, who had two of the team's six hits and is batting .326 this month, made the defensive play of the game, ranging to his left to make a diving stop of a ground ball headed to right field. He quickly got back on his feet and threw out Rendon to end the sixth inning and keep the then-tying run 90-feet away at third base.

Gerardo Parra went 2-for-4 and now has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games (.308, 16-for-52), including a 10-game streak that tied for the second-longest in his career.

THE BAD

Tough day on the bases for Parra. He got caught in no man's land in the first inning, going halfway between first and second on a high, shallow fly ball to right field. The ball dropped in front of Werth, who fired the ball to Desmond covering second to force out Parra. Then in the third, after once again leading off the inning with a single to center, Parra was picked off/caught stealing for the fourth time this season.

Martin Prado struck out in his last three at-bats, giving him a team-high 29 strikeouts. He finished 0-for-4.

A.J. Pollock went 0-for-3, ending his seven-game hitting streak.

The Diamondbacks dropped to 0-3 with the roof closed.

STAT(S) OF THE GAME

9: The number of home runs allowed by McCarthy, tied for the third-most in baseball

4-9-1: The Diamondbacks' series record; they have yet to win a home series this season

HE SAID IT

"We've certainly been better," said McCarthy, referring to the starting rotation. "It was rough the first few weeks where we just felt like the five outcasts. It didn't matter who was starting. It just kind of felt like we were the guys that -- we were the boobs that were just sitting outside and wasting everybody's time. At least now we're contributing again and having some better performances."

NOTED

The Diamondbacks had starters pitch at least eight innings in back-to-back games with one run or less allowed for the first time since July 6-7, 2013 vs. Rockies (Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin).

McCarthy pitched eight innings with two hits allowed or less for the first time in his career; he had only made three previous starts with at least six innings and no more than two hits

Miguel Montero took one for the team in the sixth inning, getting hit by a pitch for the sixth time this season, tied for the second-most in baseball

UP NEXT

A day off and more importantly, a day off at home, the first the Diamondbacks have had this season.

They'll resume play on Friday, May 16, with the first of three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The Diamondbacks have beaten the Dodgers just once in eight meetings this season.

Miley (3-3, 4.82) gets the ball in the opener. In three starts against the Dodgers this season, he's 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA. Miley, however, did win his last outing, allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings at the White Sox. He's made two straight quality starts.

About the Author


School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams

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