Sedona Red Recap: Struggles of youth cost Diamondbacks in series finale
PHOENIX — Robbie Ray had been, for lack of a better term, a ray of sunshine for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The left-handed hurler entered Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers sporting a 2-3 record with a 1.98 ERA in six starts. The most earned runs he had allowed in any game was three, and he had yet to allow more than six hits in a start.
“Had” is the operative word, as the rookie was touched up for four runs on seven hits in six innings of work, as the Dodgers survived a late D-backs rally to knock off the home team 4-3 and earn a series win.
Ray, who struck out six and walked two, had a good fastball going, according to skipper Chip Hale. It was not nearly enough, however, as Dodgers lefty Brett Anderson — a former D-backs farmhand — was excellent, allowing just one run on seven hits in seven innings of work. He walked just two and struck out seven.
The D-backs did little to help themselves, at least early on.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame when Enrique Hernandez scored on a Howie Kendrick sacrifice fly, but the D-backs ran themselves out of a potential response when Nick Ahmed was picked off and caught stealing following a leadoff single and A.J. Pollock was thrown out rounding first base a little too far.
The Dodgers added three more runs in the third inning, and with the score 4-0, it appeared the visitors might run away with this one. But Ray settled down and the bullpen tossed three innings of scoreless baseball, giving Arizona’s offense a chance to catch up.
A sixth-inning home run from Aaron Hill got the D-backs on the board, and a sacrifice fly by the second baseman plated Pollock in the eighth. Left fielder David Peralta homered off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth, but that would be it for Arizona.
– Though he gave up four runs and earned the loss, Ray really only had two rough innings. He settled in nicely and gave the D-backs a chance to catch up, which is about all you can ask for.
– The D-backs also notched a run off of Jansen for the second night in a row. Neither time was enough to get Arizona a win, but it never hurts to show you can get to one of the best closers in the game.
– Ahmed continued to swing a good bat, notching a pair of hits on the night. Pollock tallied three of his own, while Yasmany Tomas also had a pair of singles.
– As previously noted, Arizona’s base running was an issue early on. While it’s good to see the top of the order get on base, it does little good if they run themselves out of an inning.
– The Diamondbacks were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
STAT OF THE GAME
– Pollock’s three hits pushed his season average to .300, making him the third Arizona regular (Goldschmidt, Tomas) to be at that level.
HE SAID IT
“That wasn’t very good. You get on. Nick’s an eager guy. He’s a young player. He’s learning the league, and he thought he saw something on video that he could exploit. Turned out that it just backfired on him. A.J. just went a little too far around the bag, didn’t realize that A.J. Ellis did a nice job of coming behind him. You give way two outs right away against a good team, it’s not easy to overcome.” – manager Chip Hale on early base running errors
– The D-backs are in a run of playing 16 straight games against NL West opponents, with their record falling to 5-7 in that stretch.
– Paul Goldschmidt’s hitting streak, which had reached 11 games, came to an end with an 0-for-3 effort Wednesday night. He did walk once, however, leaving him with 305 for his career, one behind Justin Upton for fifth on the D-backs’ all-time list.
– The six strikeouts Ray had were the second-most he’s had in his brief career.
It will be another “Throwback Thursday” at Chase Field, as the D-backs will don their old-school purple and teal for a matchup with the Colorado Rockies. Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 5.38 ERA) will take on Chris Rusin (3-2, 4.69 ERA) in the series opener.