Changes on mound, in lineup don’t change result for D-backs
PHOENIX — Miguel Montero moved into the cleanup spot Monday for the first time this season, and it went well. Montero had three hits and a sacrifice fly and drove in all three of the Diamondbacks’ runs.
Yet not even a new No. 4 hitter and new/old face in the starting rotation, Josh Collmenter, could shake the D-backs from their early-season skid in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Chase Field.
Collmenter, stepping into the rotation for Randall Delgado, gave up three runs in four innings as New York extended Arizona’s losing streak to four games.
Montero gave the D-backs their first lead on this homestand with a run-scoring double in the first inning that Curtis Granderson ran into the fence while chasing, but the Mets responded quickly behind a four-hit game from Lucas Duda.
Manager Kirk Gibson understood that he was asking a lot from Collmenter, whose longest previous outing this season was the 53 pitches he threw in a four-inning save behind Bronson Arroyo against the Giants on April 9.
"I don’t think it is easy," Gibson said of asking Collmenter to step in, "but things aren’t coming easy right now for us in general. He wasn’t getting the ball exactly where he wanted. I didn’t think he was really in sync tonight."
Said Collmenter, who threw 49 strikes in 73 pitches: "I wasn’t as efficient as I wanted to be, and it didn’t allow me to go as deep in the game I wanted to. Just didn’t get outs early."
The D-backs are 1-7 at home after being swept the Dodgers over the weekend, and they have given up 101 runs, 25 more than any other team in the majors, although they also have played two more games than most.
It was a rough night all the way around. The D-backs committed two errors Monday, and Chris Owings was picked off first for the second straight game. The rotation’s 7.16 ERA remains a major league-high.
"We’re not in sync at all," Gibson said. "When you are in a streak, it does affect the way guys play. It doesn’t come as natural."
Montero added a one-out sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the third inning, but Aaron Hill was thrown out attempting to advance to third on the play. Montero’s one-out single in the eighth drove in Paul Goldschmidt, who also singled and scored in the first.
"He swung the bat good. We just couldn’t get the rest of the offense going," Gibson said of Montero, who is hitting .280 with a home run and eight RBIs.
Mike Bolsinger was brought up not only to start Saturday but also to provide a stretched-out arm behind Collmenter, and he made his major league debut in relief Monday, giving up six hits and two runs in three innings. He struck out the first and last batters he faced with curveballs and got out of the sixth with a strikeout on a fastball. He admitted to having some nerves, but who wouldn’t? When Collmenter hit 50 pitches, the D-backs told Bolsinger to start loosening, and he did. His emotions in the bullpen? "Nervous. Excited. Smiling the whole time I was warming up," he said. "It’s a dream come true."
1 — innings the D-backs have led in the first four games of this homestand, which concludes with games against the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
— Wade Miley was on deck to pinch-hit for Collmenter with two outs and a runner on base in the fourth inning, although the spot did not come up after Owings was picked off to end the inning. Miley has singles in his last four at-bats, and the D-backs have a thinner-than-usual bench while carrying only 12 position players.
— Cody Ross is scheduled to play nine innings at Class AAA Reno on Tuesday and again Wednesday, and if things go well, he could join the team Friday in Los Angeles.
Randy Wolf made his first start for Class AAA Reno on Monday, giving up six hits and four runs in six innings against El Paso. He struck out seven and walked one, giving up all four runs in the third inning. The game was played 100 miles away in Tucson, where El Paso is playing until its new ballpark is ready. The franchise, a San Diego affiliate, was sold and moved to El Paso this season.