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D-backs’ Scribner limits damage, but high pitch count ends outing early

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Troy Scribner throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Troy Scribner only lasted 3.2 innings against the Nationals on Saturday, but he managed to limit the damage while on the mound.

Scribner allowed two runs off four hits and six walks before getting pulled with runners on the corners and two outs in the fourth inning.

He threw 98 pitches, 59 for strikes.

“I know that I can be better than that, and I expect to be better than that,” Scribner said.

Scribner’s command was off in his first start with the D-backs. Despite not allowing a hit in the opening two frames, he threw 47 pitches and walked three.

His four-seam fastball hovered in the mid-to-high 80s. Scribner has a slow curveball with a big break, which managed to net him a strikeout early. His pitching was a large contrast from Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg, whose changeup comes in around the same speed as Scribner’s fastball.

“My heater control was alright, I didn’t think it was that great, but I was able to get ahead of some of the guys and then I just struggled to put them away,” Scribner said.

He added that his changeup and curveball control were off.

“I was yanking (the curves) a little bit to my glove side,” he said.

Even with the high pitch count, Scribner worked out of trouble in the third inning and nearly got out of the fourth.

In the third, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hit an RBI double. Scribner coaxed a ground-out before walking a batter and allowing a base hit to load the bases.

Scribner managed to strike out the next two batters – one on a 77-mph changeup and the other on an 88-mph four-seam fastball – to get out of the jam.

The Nationals loaded the bases again in the fourth inning, this time off a single and two walks. With one out, third baseman Anthony Rendon grounded to shortstop, where Nick Ahmed made a diving play to save what likely would have been a two-run single.

The D-backs weren’t able to turn the double play, though, and the Nationals scored a run.

“Ahmed’s play was ridiculous,” Scribner said. “I have all the trust in the world in those guys to make the plays behind me, I just wish I could have had the hitters put them in play a little bit more and give them a chance to get the guys out.”

That was the end of Scribner’s night; Jorge De La Rosa entered the game with runners on the corners and forced a groundout to the only batter he faced.

Scribner got the start in place of the injured Robbie Ray, who was out with a right oblique strain. On May 4, Kris Medlen got the start in Ray’s place, but gave up seven runs to the Astros.

Arizona subsequently called up Braden Shipley, but he was placed on the disabled list on May 8.

Scribner’s two runs were the only the Nationals scored on Saturday, but the D-back’s offense couldn’t get going against Strasburg.

Arizona lost 2-1, its first series loss of the season.

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