Buchholz cruises before injury, D-backs top Pirates for series sweep
PITTSBURGH — Everything was going Clay Buchholz‘s way. Then, a swing-and-miss led to an injury that turned what could have been a gem into a routine solid outing.
The right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before Pirates centerfielder Starling Marte doubled down the right-field line with two out in the fourth inning. Despite throwing just 53 pitches (42 strikes), he was pulled to start the sixth inning after informing manager Torey Lovullo of some pain stemming from swinging at the first pitch of his at bat in the top of the fifth.
“I’ve had oblique, whatever it is, before. It was a lot worse than this one,” Buchholz said. “I went out (in the bottom of the fifth) and the last two outs, that’s whenever I felt it a little bit more. I was just trying to get through that inning. It’s more precautionary. I’ve gone through things before where I’ve tried to get through it, pitch through it and go another inning, but that’s always led me in the wrong direction.”
Lovullo said Buchholz (2-1), who allowed two hits with five strikeouts in five innings for his first win since June 1, would continue to be evaluated throughout Sunday. More information is expected Monday.
“He was attacking the zone with the fastball and driving his fastball on both sides of the plate, and then throwing some quality secondary stuff,” Lovullo said. “We want to give him a night to let everything calm down and evaluate him.”
“It’s nice to get a couple runs in the first, always,” Murphy said. “I was leading off the second and was looking for a fastball. Got one in a pretty good spot.”
Pirates right-handed starter Trevor Williams (6-5) took the loss after allowing the two-run home run to Peralta with two out in the first inning and a lead-off solo homer to Murphy, which made it 3-0 in the second. Those three runs came on five hits in six innings pitched with six strikeouts.
“Unfortunately, that was the game today,” Williams said. “From there on, I thought I was making all my pitches and being successful the second time through the lineup.”
Pittsburgh has scored eight combined runs during its current five-game losing streak after winning four of its previous five games.
“We’re going to keep playing,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The season’s not going to stop. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. These guys are working hard in here to get better. We haven’t gotten better.”
Diamondbacks RHP Shelby Miller (0-0, 0.00) is expected to come off the 60-day disabled list to make his season debut against the Marlins on Monday. After undergoing Tommy John surgery for a torn UCL sustained last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miller allowed 10 runs on 20 hits with 28 strikeouts and six walks in a combined 19 1/3 innings during his four rehab starts, two with Double-A Jackson and two with Single-A Visalia.
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