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Saunders blames pitching on “dumb luck”

The Diamondbacks dropped their last game in a three game series against the Phillies 8-4 Wednesday after lefty Joe Saunders struggled on the mound.

Saunders gave up six earned runs and two home runs in just over five innings pitched with eight strikeouts.

He has pitched less than seven innings in his first five starts, posting an 0-3 record with a 5.93 ERA. He has given up 18 earned runs, four home runs and 14 walks with 18 strikeouts so far this season.

“It’s a dumb luck kind of deal. It’s something you just have to laugh off,” Saunders said following the game.

“When you make your pitches and they still hurt you, it just wasn’t your day. I thought with how many strikeouts I had, my pitches were good.”

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said one of the problems with the team has been poor first inning pitching.

“We had another rocky first inning, that’s plagued us all year. He (Saunders) just wasn’t able to hit his spots,” the manager said.

“He was a little elevated especially early and they made us pay.”

Saunders has allowed opponents to score in the first inning in three of his five starts along with a 12.60 ERA.

The pitcher said he would prefer the roof be closed when he starts but doesn’t want to make excuses.

“What are you going to do? You’ve got to keep your head up, you’ve got to turn the page and go get them next time,” Saunders said.

“I don’t think I’m pitching that bad, just the results aren’t there yet.”

Saunders said he is willing to try some unconventional methods to get his pitching luck back.

“I think I’m going to go home and sacrifice a live chicken to turn this thing around.”

Sports 620 KTAR reporter Craig Grialou contributed to this story