D-backs' bats aren't timely against Giants rookie Chris Heston
The Arizona Diamondbacks knew what Giants rookie pitcher Chris Heston brought to the table following his first outing of the season. But by the end of a 4-1 loss in San Francisco on Saturday, they were still trying to apply that knowledge.
Heston went six shutout innings in a 5-2 win against the D-backs on April 8, and on Saturday in San Francisco he again led the charge, ending the Giants' losing streak at eight games.
"He's a good pitcher," said first baseman Paul Goldschmidt on the FOX Sports Arizona postgame show. "He worked ahead in the count a lot, that may be the biggest thing. He mixed up his slider and his fastball really well so you couldn't lock in on one pitch."
The D-backs (6-6) mustered six hits, once again unable to read Heston's pitch and placement.
The exception might have been outfielder Mark Trumbo, whose only hitless game of the D-backs' first 12 games came against Heston. Trumbo went 2-for-4 on Saturday, but other than a David Peralta solo homer to right field in the top of the fourth, Arizona's bats could never get going. Heston retired 14 of 15 batters after Peralta's jack.
But there were opportunities for the D-backs to score.
Hitting in the sixth slot, Tuffy Gosewisch showed timeliness by twice reaching base after Trumbo hits. But in the second inning, Heston got two outs by striking out Chris Owings, walking Nick Ahmed and then having an easy go at Arizona pitcher Rubby De La Rosa.
After Trumbo and Gosewisch (hit by pitch) both reached for a rally attempt in the ninth, closer Santiago Casilla got Owings to ground into a double-play, ending the game.
*It wasn't enough, but pitcher Rubby De La Rosa continued the trend of Arizona's starting pitchers improving as the season wears on. Though he gave up nine hits and four runs, he showed flashes of how mixing his fastball and off-speed pitches can work wonders. He struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and got out of a few jams, but his biggest mistake was hanging a pitch in front of shortstop Brandon Crawford.
*Crawford went 5-for-13 in a three-game opening series at Arizona, but heading into this second series went 0-for-20. Well, there must be something about playing the D-backs, because Crawford broke a hitless streak with a two-run homer on Thursday and did the same Saturday, making it 4-1 with a bomb in the bottom of the fourth.
*Heston made sure to cool off the D-backs' hottest of bats. Ender Inciarte had recorded a hit in his last eight games and had multiple hits in his last four games, but he went 0-for-4. Jake Lamb entered the evening sixth in MLB with a .440 batting average but went hitless in his first three at-bats before hitting a ground-ball single off Heston. Lamb was Heston's final batter faced with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
Our Jody Jackson took a kayak trip around McCovey Cove.