Second-year pitcher Chase Anderson had a rocky first inning Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, but he recovered and recorded his longest outing since late-July 2014.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Diamondbacks couldn’t convert his performance into a win in the first of a two-game series at Chase Field.
The game had been deadlocked since the second inning, and when Daniel Hudson took the mound in the eighth, Texas’ offense came to life. Prince Fielder’s two-run home run highlighted a four-run inning for the Rangers, who then tacked on two more in the final frame.
Hudson took his first loss of the season as the Rangers claimed a 7-1 win in the series opener. Arizona fell back to .500 (7-7), while Texas improved to 6-8.
Here’s a look at the game that slipped away from Arizona, by the numbers:
Even though the D-backs took the loss, the team’s starting rotation has put up an impressive 1.93 ERA (nine earned runs in 42 innings pitched) over the last six games. Anderson, Josh Collmenter, Archie Bradley and Jeremy Hellickson have all put forth impressive starts over this recent stretch. The Diamondbacks have converted those strong starts into just a 3-3 record, however.
Rookie infielder Yasmany Tomas was the only D-backs batter to collect more than one hit, as he went 2-for-3 in his first MLB start, bolstering his average to .429. He also scored the first run of his career when Nick Ahmed grounded into a fielder’s choice in the second inning. After collecting his second hit, an infield single, Tomas was replaced on the base paths by infielder Cliff Pennington, ending the Cuban slugger’s night early.
Starting his first game at third base for the D-backs, Tomas misplayed an Elvis Andrus grounder in the third inning, resulting in the first of what would be three Arizona errors in the game; Pennington and Tuffy Gosewisch committed the other two.
[VIDEO] 3 of 4 balls hit to Yasmany Tomas were at least shaky: http://t.co/pi9a7V4b9a
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) April 22, 2015
Tomas would later redeem himself, somewhat, with an impressive grab of a Leonys Martin foul pop-up in the fifth inning in front of the D-backs dugout.
Arizona’s home and away records are now the inverse of each other: 3-4 and 4-3. Somewhat surprisingly, the home record is the worse one, as of now.
Gosewisch went a modest 1-for-4 in the loss, but he seems to be making strides from his early struggles at the plate. The D-backs catcher has one hit in each of his last four games — and seven of the last eight — and he has reached base in 11 straight games. The 31-year-old right-handed hitter is still batting just .209 on the season, though.
5, 6, 7
Anderson has incrementally increased the length of his starts since the beginning of the season, as he went five innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 10 and six innings against San Francisco on April 15 prior to Tuesday’s seven-inning performance. The last time the right-hander went seven innings was July 28, 2014, in Cincinnati. Even though Anderson now boasts a 3.00 ERA this season, he still has yet to win his first game of 2015.
Reliever Evan Marshall has made six appearances so far this season, and three of them have been rocky. The 25-year-old right-hander was charged with the Rangers’ final two runs of the night, even though he allowed just one hit and one walk in 0.2 innings. Marshall’s ERA jumped to 9.00 after the two batters he allowed on base reached home when Oliver Perez gave up a single to Martin.
Even though the D-backs had a solid seven hits on the evening, they weren’t able to convert those into multiple runs. The home team left 10 runners on base, including several go-ahead chances to end an inning. The Rangers had just one more hit in the game, but six additional runs. They left five on base.
Anderson only allowed one hit to the Rangers after the first inning, and he retired the last 12 batters he faced. On the evening, he only surrendered three hits and one earned run while striking out five in 106 pitches.
Ahmed is hitless in his last four games — and in his last 17 at-bats. The 25-year-old shortstop went 0-for-4 Tuesday, although he did record his first RBI of the year, thanks a fielder’s choice that allowed Tomas to score. Ahmed’s batting average dropped to .122 after his latest hitless performance.
Hudson threw 33 pitches during his futile eighth-inning appearance. Only three of the four runs scored in the frame were earned, but Hudson hadn’t given up a run in four prior appearances this season. The 28-year-old right-hander also allowed his first walk of the year. Despite the forgettable performance, Hudson’s ERA is at a still-respectable 4.76.