PHOENIX (AP) — Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson had no trouble summarizing his club’s three-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.
“We just got out-executed the whole series,” he said following the Diamondbacks’ 7-2 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday night.
“They scored 23 runs, we scored nine. They outpitched us. They outdefended us. They swung the bats better than we did. And we are happy to see them go,” he said.
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Arizona has lost seven of its past eight overall and five straight at home.
Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley did what no one else had accomplished in the series’ first two games and held the Cardinals scoreless over the first four innings.
But it didn’t last.
Kyle Lohse (5-1) singled, went to third on a single by Rafael Furcal and scored when Carlos Beltran’s hard grounder to third deflected off Ryan Roberts’ glove and bounced off his chin for an error that made it 1-all.
In the sixth, David Freese led off with a walk and Tony Cruz hit a two-out single. Matt Carpenter pinch-hit for Lohse and doubled under the glove of a diving Jason Kubel in left, scoring both runners to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.
“We thought it would be a good matchup,” Gibson said. “He was 3 for 17 off of lefties but he got ahead in the count. We were trying to throw him in and got behind then threw the ball over the plate.”
Three consecutive singles, the last on a looping hit to center by Miley, gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the second, their first lead of the series.
Miley (3-1) pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits with two walks. He lost for the first time since Sept. 16 at San Diego, a span of five starts and eight appearances.
“Late in the game I didn’t make pitches when I needed to,” Miley said. “A couple of big situations, a pitch away and I didn’t make the pitch.”
Arizona got within a run in the sixth when Miguel Montero singled and scored on a double by Aaron Hill.
The Cardinals extended their lead with a two-out surge in the ninth against J.J. Putz. Furcal and Carlos Beltran singled, Matt Holliday hit an RBI double off the center-field wall and Allen Craig then hit his third home run.
Putz, making his first appearance in five days, allowed four runs on five hits whole getting two outs.
“He is just not locating, totally,” Gibson said. “He’s not throwing the ball where he needed to throw it. He couldn’t control it. On Craig, he threw it up and over the plate and he didn’t want to do that. If you don’t locate the ball, they pound it.”
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases on three straight singles leading off the ninth against Mitchell Boggs, but Jason Motte came on and retired the side on a strikeout and a double play for his sixth save.
“I like watching him pitch,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his closer. “I like getting him saves anytime we can.”
“Late in the game I didn’t make pitches when I needed to,” he said.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks had been outscored 20-1 in the first four innings of their past four innings before Miley kept the Cardinals scoreless over the first four. … Miley’s single extended his hitting streak to five games, the longest by an Arizona pitcher since Barry Enright’s five-game streak in 2010. … Both teams have off-days on Thursday. LHP Jamie Garcia will go for his 30th career win against Mike Minor and the Braves in St. Louis on Friday. Rookie LHP Patrick Corbin will open a three-game series against San Francisco at home for Arizona, also on Friday.