ST. LOUIS — It was too little too late from the Arizona Diamondbacks offense on Saturday.
The Diamondbacks finally got on the board with a Rickie Weeks Jr. two-run homer in the ninth and loaded the bases against St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, bringing the tying run to the plate, but that was it in a 6-2 loss.
“The ninth inning was good, we got after the closer, we got him up in the 30s pitch-wise and that’s good for tomorrow, got a little moment back, kind of like what they did to us last night,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “Hopefully it will translate into a good start tomorrow, but we have to be ready to go.”
Weeks’ first home run of the season got the rally started. Singles by Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed and a walk to Chris Herrmann loaded the bases with two outs. But Rosenthal struck out Jean Segura to end the game.
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray (2-3) battled through five innings, only one of which was clean. He gave up two runs, stranded six runners, walked four and threw 65 of his 102 pitches for strikes.
A 28-pitch first inning and a 25-pitch second inning led to an early exit.
“Just keeping the tempo going is the main thing,” Ray said. “I think when I slow down that’s when I give the hitter a chance to get comfortable in the box. The start before this I got the ball and got back on the rubber and threw a pitch and I have to get back to that.”
Ray’s lone mistake was giving up a two-run home run in the second to Jedd Gyorko.
Matt Adams and Yadier Molina hit homers off of relievers Jake Barrett and Andrew Chafin, respectively, to extend the Cardinals lead.
“That’s more of an aberration for us right now,” Hale said. “Chafin’s been really good, Barrett obviously has been great, he just hung a split to Adams . but those guys usually are able to get us in the dugout without any damage.”
Mike Leake (3-3) pitched seven scoreless innings against the team he wanted to sign with as a free agent in the offseason. He ended up with the Cardinals after Arizona signed Zack Greinke and traded for Shelby Miller.
“It’s always nice to kind of I guess stick it to a team that it didn’t work out with,” Leake said. “At the end of the day it’s still another opponent and another team that you have to get through.”
Leake retired eight straight between the second and fourth innings. He even showed off at the plate with a double to left in the sixth. The righty also made a nice barehanded play to throw out Weeks at first in the seventh.
“Same old, same old from him,” Weeks said of Leake. “Back door sinkers, cutters, he kept the ball down. Obviously, we hit the ball pretty good I thought, but it was right at people on the ground. Obviously, it’s tough to get runs on the board when you keep pounding ball in the ground.”
Leake was helped by two great back-to-back catches in the fourth by Matt Holliday and Stephen Piscotty. Holliday snared a tailing line drive off the bat of Brandon Drury on the left field track and Piscotty crashed into the right field wall to rob Paul Goldschmidt of an extra base hit.
Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (shoulder) will make his fifth rehab start on Sunday for Triple-A Reno. He’s expected to make one more rehab appearance before the team must make a decision.
Cardinals: Highly touted minor leaguer RHP Alex Reyes will make his first start of the season Sunday at Triple-A Memphis after being reinstated from a 50-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana use.
Diamondbacks: RHP Greinke (4-3, 5.08 ERA) will pitch the rubber game of the series. He earned the win his last start against the New York Yankees and is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three road starts this season.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (3-3, 2.86 ERA) is 5-0 with a 2.94 ERA in six career starts against Arizona. He has not allowed a home run to an NL West batter in his last 171 batters faced since Arizona’s Nick Ahmed hit one on May 26, 2015.
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