PHOENIX — Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo pack a nice 1-2 punch, but it’s the number of punches the Diamondbacks bullpen is taking that has taken a toil on the season, albeit early.
After failing to hold a four-run lead in the home opener on Monday, the bullpen coughed up a two-run advantage in the series finale on Thursday, ending in an 8-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Reliever Will Harris allowed five runs, including a two-out, three-run home run to Angel Pagan, in the eighth inning as the Giants erased a 5-3 deficit.
“He’s very aggressive and he smoked it,” manager Kirk Gibson said of Pagan, who finished with three hits.
San Francisco won three of four for its fifth straight series victory at Chase Field.
“They were close games, but our bullpen cost us in two of them,” Gibson said.
A first-inning Brandon Belt solo home run off of Bronson Arroyo, making his first Diamondbacks start, gave the Giants the early lead.
The Diamondbacks responded quickly, scoring twice in their half of the first. Goldschmidt smashed the first pitch from starter Tim Lincecum into the pool area over the fence in right field, scoring Aaron Hill who had singled the at-bat before.
It was Goldschmidt’s first home run of the season, but the sixth of his career against Lincecum.
“I mean I couldn’t tell you,” he said when asked about his success against the two-time Cy Young winner.
Trumbo added his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth to give a 4-2 lead to the D-backs, who dropped to 1-5 on the young season.
“We’ll regroup,” Gibson said. “It’s a long season. Can’t be deterred.”
Trumbo has eight RBI in the season’s first six games.
Hill had three hits, one more than he had in the combined first three games in the series.
Goldschmidt is now hitting .522 (12-for-23) with six home runs and 13 RBI lifetime against Tim Lincecum.
Goldschmidt’s 25-game hitting streak is the longest active streak in the Majors and second-longest in club history, behind Luis Gonzalez, who had a 30-game streak in April-May 1999.
Oliver Perez, who did not retire any of the three batters he faced in the home opener on Monday, got both Belt and Pablo Sandoval to fly out, ending the Giants’ threat in the fifth inning. Perez relieved Arroyo with one out and the go-ahead run at third base.
Pagan hit his first home and finished the series batting .421 (8-for-19) with six RBI.
Belt hit his third home run in four games and has hit eight of his 36 career home runs against the Diamondbacks, the most he’s hit against any opponent.
Arroyo lasted only 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three. A 28-pitch fourth inning ran his pitch count up and he was removed after 82 total pitches.
Goldschmidt made the third out in the second inning, trying to stretch a single into a double. Right fielder Hunter Pence cleanly picked up the ball down the line and threw a dart to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who applied the tag to end the inning. It was the third out the Diamondbacks ran into on the bases in the series.
STAT OF THE GAME
12: The combined number of runs Diamondbacks pitching allowed in the seventh inning or later in the four-game series.
HE SAID IT
“It was down and in. Cutter. First pitch. Got the head (of the bat) out and hit it pretty well,” said Harris, talking about Pagan’s at-bat in the eighth inning. “I faced him in the past and he can kind of be an aggressive fastball hitter and so I was looking to make a good pitch, first pitch. I thought I did it, but it didn’t work out.”
• Lincecum has a 6.08 ERA (34 IP in 50.1 IP) and nine home runs allowed in his last nine starts against the Diamondbacks.
• Trumbo’s sixth inning home run traveled an estimated 435-feet. He has, according to ESPN Stats & Info, the most 435-foot home runs since the start of last season with 19. Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins has 16 such home runs.
• Center fielder A.J. Pollock fought off bees as he caught Pagan’s first inning fly ball. There was a brief delay as Gibson discussed the situation with the umpires, who then talked with Pollock before resuming play two-to-three minutes later.
• Miguel Montero was given the day off, his first since the season began. That meant former ASU Sun Devil Tuffy Gosewisch was behind the plate, leaving Eric Chavez as the only Diamondbacks position player to not start at least once in the season’s first six games.
The Diamondbacks embark on a two-city, six-game road trip with stops in Colorado and San Francisco. A three-game series against the Rockies begins on Friday, April 4. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Randall Delgado makes his first start and second appearance of the season. He threw 0.2 scoreless innings of relief against the Dodgers on March 23 in Australia. Delgado, who set career highs in wins (5), starts (19), strikeouts (79) and innings pitched (116.1) last season, is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA (4 ER in 11.0 IP) in two career starts against the Rockies.
The Diamondbacks went 12-7, including 4-5 at Coors Field, against the Rockies last season.