D-backs fail to deliver knockout punch

PHOENIX – The Diamondbacks seem determined to make it difficult on themselves.

Their first six batters reached base Tuesday and their first five scored, and it seemed like they were on their way. But other than some strong work in the late innings by their reliable bullpen, that was about as good as it got.

Miami, last in the NL East, beat the D-backs for the second straight game, this time overcoming a five-run deficit for a 6-5, 10-inning victory. Giancarlo Stanton was the main culprit for the second day in a row, singling in the winning run with two outs in the 10th after doubling to begin a three-run fifth that brought the Marlins into a tie.

Stanton hit a ground ball single in the hole between third base and shortstop for the game-winner on a ball from Sam Demel that was low in the strike zone. The D-backs attacked Stanton the same most of the night and got him to strike out three times, but Demel’s pitch caught a lot of the plate and Stanton found a hole.

“This one is going to be hard to digest,” said catcher Miguel Montero, who singled in a run in the first.

“We got a five-run lead in the first inning, and then we couldn’t do anything more.”

The D-backs (62-61) dropped six games behind San Francisco in the NL West and remained five games behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card. Left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Wade Miley will start the for the D-backs in the first doubleheader in Chase Field history to close a four-game series against the Marlins today as the D-backs look to regain some of the momentum built during a four-game winning streak to cap the last road trip.

“It was a disappointing game. A disappointing loss. We should have won that game,” Gibson said.

“It’s kind of like time to check yourself.”

The D-backs had two walks, a double, three singles and a sacrifice fly in the first inning, with Aaron Hill doubling in a run and Justin Upton singling in two. But the game took a bad turn when Upton scored the final run of the inning on Ryan Wheeler’s sacrifice fly. Upton tweaked his left hamstring as he returned to the dugout. Upton went to his haunches when he reached the D-backs’ dugout and was examined by medical staff before being replaced by Gerardo Parra to start the second.

“As I slowed down to turn and run into the dugout, my hamstring tightened up. I thought it would die down a little bit, but they advised me not to push it,” Upton said.

The D-backs had four hits in the final nine innings, although they had plenty of scoring chances because the Marlins issued six walks in that span. The D-backs left two runners on base in the seventh, eighth and 10th innings. All told, the D-backs left 10 men on; the Marlins left 15 before breaking through in the 10th.

Gorkys Hernandez beat out an infield single to shortstop to open the 10th and was sacrificed to second base before Demel, who was recalled from Class AAA Reno earlier Tuesday, intentionally walked Jose Reyes. Reyes had four hits Monday and had singled in his previous at-bat in the eighth inning. Carlos Lee’s fly to deep center sent Hernandez to third, bringing up Stanton, whose game-winning hit made him 5 for 11 with two home runs and five RBIs in the first two games of the series.

Miami is 9-3 in extra-inning games. The D-backs are 1-2.

“We had our opportunities to win the game, even though we didn’t. That happens way too much. We’ll see what we’ve got in there,” Gibson said.

D-backs starter Trevor Cahill has been unable to get it going in his first season at Chase Field, and his home ERA nudged up to 5.10 after he gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

“He struggled the whole time. He didn’t shut them down and get deeper. Hurt us,” Gibson said of Cahill, who threw 96 pitches.

Cahill threw 34 pitches in the second inning, failing to follow the D-backs’ five-run first with a shut-down inning. He walked the first batter he faced and gave up three hits, the last a two-out double to Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco that made it 5-2.

“The offense did a real good job scoring five, but I couldn’t get

that shutout inning after that, which kind of gave the momentum back,”

Cahill said. “Unfortunately couldn’t go deeper in the game. It seems

like I was pitching in and out of trouble all night.”

Cahill was removed after giving up two hits in the sixth inning, although he was out of the game when the fourth run scored on an infield single off Matt Albers.

Shortstop Jake Elmore reached Hernandez’s groundball behind second base, but his throw was up the right-field line and pulled first baseman Paul Goldschmidt off the bag for an infield single. That prolonged the inning, and Bryan Petersen followed with a single to center to tie the game at 5.

Elmore is one of three shortstops who figure to get playing time now that Stephen Drew has been traded to Oakland. Willie Bloomquist is expected to return from the disabled list on Friday, and Gibson has said innings will be spread among Bloomquist, Elmore and John McDonald.

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