PHOENIX — Tuesday night, the Arizona Diambacks went looking for their eighth win in their last nine tries against the Kansas City Royals.
They wouldn’t find it, as they fell in the opener of the three-game interleague series 12-2.
Batting second in the lineup, Jordan Pacheco hit a ground-rule double to get Arizona started in the first. Mark Trumbo would later bring him in with an RBI single to left center.
“We started off well,” Pacheco said. “It’s nice putting up a run especially in the first inning but you can’t score just one, you have to score more than that.”
And the D-backs needed a lot of runs to keep pace with the Royals.
Wade Miley’s night looked promising as he retired six of the seven Royals batters he faced in the first two innings, but in the top of the third with runners at first and second Salvador Perez jumped on a 2-0 changeup for his 13th home run of the season to put the Royals on top 3-1.
They didn’t slow down after that, either, as Billy Butler hit the second three-run home run of the night on a 2-2 fastball giving the Royals 6-1 lead.
“I don’t know what to say, it really sucked,” said Miley. “Games like that just got out of hand and we can’t really have that.”
After loading the bases in the fifth, Miley was pulled from the game, but the bleeding didn’t stop.
Reliever Bo Schultz came and on his first pitch gave up a grand slam to Nori Aoki to make it 11-1.
Miley allowed 10 earned runs on nine hits. He lasted just 4.2 innings and allowed two home runs and threw two wild pitches.
“Everything I threw was in the middle of the plate,” said the D-backs starter. “You can’t find the success up here against these hitters when you leave them in the middle of the plate.
Schultz came into Tuesday’s game with a 12.27 ERA. In his last outing against the Pirates, he pitched just 0.2 innings allowing five runs on six hits.
Tuesday, Schultz did give up the grand slam to Aoki but after that he would settle down getting the Royals to ground into two double plays over 4.1 innings.
“He came in the first inning gave up some hits and settled down,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
After the fifth inning, both the Royals and the D-backs managed to score one more run apiece, but the damage had already been done
“This was not a good night for us all around,” Gibson said. “We didn’t pitch good, we certainly didn’t play very good defense, we didn’t hit and it is certainly a game we would like to forget.”
Schultz was able to lower his ERA to 7.80 with his outing on Tuesday night. Other than the grand slam he allowed to Aoki, Schultz allowed two runs on six hits. He also induced two double plays.
Except for the second inning, at least one Royals batter reached base safely.
Miley was tagged with six runs on just two swings of the bat as he gave up three-run home runs to Perez and Butler.
The D-backs struggled offensively, only getting two runs on five hits while leaving six runners on base. Batters hitting in the 7-8-9 hole went a combined 0-for-10.
STAT OF THE GAME:
10: The number of earned runs given up by Wade Miley which is the most he allowed all season.
HE SAID IT:
“It will be a little tough but it’s something you have to do, you can’t drag it with you to your next start and you just have to flush it and move on.” — Miley on bouncing back
• This season, the D-backs are 5-8 in interleague play and 16-8 in their last 24 interleague games at home. All-time the D-backs are 125-143 facing the junior circuit.
• Trumbo played in his 499th game Tuesday going 2-for-3 with a single and a double.
• Alex Gordon recorded his 1000th career hit with single to left off of Miley in the top of the fifth.
It’ll be the battle of the right-handed pitchers as the D-backs’ three-game interleague series continues against the Royals Wednesday.
Josh Collmenter will take the mound for the D-backs and face Yordano Ventura Wednesday night.
Collmenter (8-5, 4.07) is coming off a couple of rough starts going a combined eight innings, while allowing nine earned runs on 15 hits. This will be Collmenter’s first career start against the Royals.
The 23-year-old Ventura (8-8, 3.50) is coming off a win against the Minnesota Twins as he threw seven strong innings allowing just one run on five hits.
First pitch is scheduled at 6:40 with pre-game coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.