Friday, April 17, 2015

Hill lifts D-backs in 12th, and Giants lose seventh straight

Aaron Hill's two-run, two-out double broke a 12th-inning tie and led the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-6 victory Thursday night over the reeling San Francisco Giants.
With the score knotted, 5-5, Ender Inciarte singled off Sergio Romo to open the 12th. One out later, Inciarte stole second base, prompting an intentional walk to Paul GoldschmidtCliff Pennington popped up before Hill, who was 0-for-4, drilled his go-ahead hit off the base of the left-field wall. That hastened the seventh loss in a row for the defending World Series champion Giants, matching their longest losing streak since 2010. San Francisco (3-8) also equaled its worst 11-game start since the franchise moved west in 1958. More >
"We're not happy about it, that's for sure," Giants starter Madison Bumgarnersaid.
Arizona broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning on Goldschmidt's three-run homer off Bumgarner, who surrendered four runs in seven innings. But Brandon Crawford narrowed the difference with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Oliver Perez. The Giants sustained that momentum in the ninth against D-backs closer Addison Reed as Joe Panik's two-out triple scored Buster Posey. After the D-backs forged ahead on A.J. Pollock's two-out homer in the 10th off Santiago Casilla, the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out in their half of the inning but mustered just one run on Matt Duffy's infield single.
Though the Giants didn't make the most of their scoring opportunities, the fact that they created chances after scoring nine runs and batting .185 in their previous six games encouraged manager Bruce Bochy.
"I liked the fight," Bochy said.
Missed by inches: D-backs right fielder Inciarte ran a long way into right-center to try and catch Panik's ninth-inning drive, but the ball just eluded his glove.
"I've got to make that catch," Inciarte said. "I ran a long way, I know that's probably the longest I've run in my career for a fly ball, but I got there and I missed the catch. They pay me to make that play. The first thing that got me to the big leagues is my defense and I know I can make those plays easy. When I drop balls like that, trust me, I'm really ticked. I probably won't sleep tonight."
Can't close the deal: The Giants forged ties in the ninth and 10th innings but couldn't push across the run they needed for victory. Nori Aoki struck out with the bases loaded to end the ninth. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the 10th, Brandon Belt struck out, Panik grounded into a force at home and Crawford struck out. The lone Giant to come through in this situation was Duffy, who reached safely on a grounder to deep short.
Crawford's clout: Until they rallied late, the Giants settled into silence after Posey's first-inning RBI single as Arizona starter Archie Bradley retired 17 of the next 21 hitters. But after Panik singled, Perez relieved Bradley and gave up the homer to Crawford, who ended an 0-for-23 skid.
Bradley misses out on history: Had the bullpen been able to hang onto the lead, Bradley would have been the first pitcher to beat a reigning Cy Young and a World Series Most Valuable Player in his first two big league appearances.
More >
"I didn't even see the last ball. I was pacing down there. My hair was turning gray." -- D-backs manager Chip Hale on the final out of the game
D-backs: Opening Day starter Josh Collmenter will take the mound against the Giants on Friday night looking for his first win of the season. After not allowing an earned run this spring, Collmenter has a 6.52 ERA in two starts.
Giants: One of the few positive factors for the Giants thus far is their starters' durability. Bumgarner, Chris Heston and Tim Hudson have logged seven-inning outings. Reaching that level might be a struggle for Jake Peavy, who'll start for San Francisco in Friday's 7:15 p.m. PT confrontation. He lasted just four innings in his first appearance of the season last Sunday at San Diego, and worked seven innings or more in 11 of 32 starts last year.

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