Pirates, Diamondbacks engaged in eye-for-eye series (Jun 12, 2018)

June 12, 2018

PHOENIX -- Things can turn ugly when the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks play. It happened again in the Diamondbacks' 9-5 victory Monday.

Pittsburgh hit three batters and Arizona hit two in the eye-for-an-eye game that the Pirates seem to believe in. No one appeared to be seriously hurt this time -- not like Paul Goldschmidt, who was forced to miss two months with a fractured hand when he was hit in 2014 or Andrew McCutchen, who missed a month with a rib cage injury after being hit two days later.

This time, retaliation may have cost the Pirates a game. After Joe Musgrove hit Chris Owings, the third Arizona player hit, in the hip leading off the seventh inning in a 5-0 game, the Diamondbacks perked up.

Jake Lamb capped a five-run seventh with a three-run homer, and Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in a four-run eighth that included two wild pitches and a balk.

"We were laying flat, dormant by him (Musgrove). I felt it gave our dugout a lot of energy. It rejuvenated us," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of Owings' plate appearance.

"I'm not really a big fan of taking a baseball and throwing it at somebody as hard as you can. I know there are some old school baseball thoughts and some old school baseball traditions that are still followed.

"I believe there are other ways you can go out and operate and make things hurt when something like that happens ... I think we certainly did what we needed to do to retaliate in the cleanest, purest way possible."

Arizona reliever Braden Shipley hit Josh Harrison in the top of the seventh inning after Musgrove hit Lamb in the fourth and John Ryan Murphy in the sixth. Arizona closer Brad Boxberger hit Sean Rodriguez in the ninth.

"It is nothing more than protecting your teammates," Musgrove said. "That is baseball and how the game is played. If you are willing to go out and hit somebody you have to be willing to deal with might come with that. That is how I was raised to play the game."

Arizona right-hander Clay Buchholz will make his fifth start of the season Tuesday, opposing right-hander Trevor Williams in the second game of the series. The Pirates have lost seven series in a row and are 6-17 since going a season-high nine games over .500 in mid-May.

"You play the game and you protect your teammates," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

"It has been going on for 135 years."

Buchholz, in his 12th major league season, has been a real find since being promoted from Triple-A Reno on May 20 to take Robbie Ray's spot in the starting rotation. He has given up five runs and 17 hits in four starts, the last three at least six innings.

Buchholz made only two major league appearances last season, with Philadelphia, before missing the rest of the sesaon after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right flexor tendon last year.

"It finally got to the point I couldn't throw," said Buchholz, who had been bothered off and on since 2015.

"There was no way for me to give the team a chance to win being out there at 50 percent. You can real stupid out there, but you can only hurt yourself more. It's the first full year I've taken off in I don't know how long. It was different. It sort of gave me a little break and allowed me to reset, I guess."

Always with an eye on pitching again.

"I'm not going to quit," he said. "That's not what we do. As an professional athlete, you are not going to quit. You have to have some drive and you have to know good things are going to come. That's why I landed here. I feel like I'm healthy. It's a lot easier going out there to throw, knowing you are not going to be hurting in between, rather than hoping everything is going to be OK.

"Trying to get through a major league lineup is hard enough when you are healthy."

Williams, who attended Arizona State University, has hit a bump in the road recently after a six-start April in which he made five quality starts, won four, and did not give up more than two earned runs in any of the six. Since then, he has given up four or more earned runs in five of his six starts with one victory and a 6.06 ERA. He is 0-1 with an 8.50 ERA in his last four starts since a 7-0 victory over the White Sox on May 15.

Williams made two strong starts against Arizona last season, his only two career appearances against the Diamondbacks. He gave only one fun in five innings in a win at Chase Field and one run in six 11 innings in a no-decision at home.