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Archie Bradley good early, struggles late in Diamondbacks loss at Boston

Arizona Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley walks on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt, left, during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Archie Bradley had been pretty inconsistent in his last few starts. His inconsistency was…consistent in Saturday’s 6-3 loss at the Boston Red Sox.

Bradley was dealing early, as he retired the first six batters of the game and only allowed the Red Sox to score one run through four innings. Through those first four frames, Bradley was sharp with his command and besides giving up three singles in the third inning, he didn’t face any trouble.

That changed immediately in the fifth inning as the first batter, Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon, homered to right. Bradley didn’t get help from his defense after that when miscommunication led to an error by right fielder Socrates Brito, allowing Brock Holt to take second base. The next batter quickly doubled him home, and just like that the D-backs lead was erased. The Red Sox would later take a 4-3 lead in the same inning.

Things got away from Bradley again early in the sixth inning, and after a walk and a two-run home run by the Red Sox, he was pulled after throwing 100 pitches.

Bradley threw 5 1/3 innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits, two walks and two home runs.

This marked another dip in the up-and-down ride of late for Bradley, as he only gave up one run on July 27, followed by a 12-hit and seven-run night by the Washington Nationals on Aug. 1, and then a decent response in a Diamondbacks’ win on Aug. 7 when he gave up three runs.

Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz also started off the game strong, as he faced the minimum through innings thanks to two double play balls that ended the second and the third inning.

The Diamondbacks did all of their damage in the fourth and fifth inning. Base-running proved to be a factor for Arizona when the team scored its first run of the game after a double steal. Rickie Weeks gave the D-backs the lead 2-1 in the fourth with a RBI single.

Besides a Michael Bourn RBI single in the fifth, the Diamondbacks couldn’t much going until they walked three straight times to start the top of the eighth inning.

But they were unable to capitalize on a huge opportunity as former D-backs’ closer Brad Ziegler came in with the bases loaded and no outs, threw 10 pitches, all strikes, and struck out the next three batters.

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