D-backs bats can't help Hellickson against Angels
Like they have done with regularity of late, the Arizona Diamondbacks got hot with the bats early. On Tuesday, in a 4-1 loss at the Los Angeles Angels that ended a four-game winning streak, the optimism got smothered.
Arizona loaded the bases in the first inning with one out, like they had in the first game of this winning streak, a 1-0 win against the San Francisco Giants. And like that outing, the opposing pitcher, this time Garrett Richards, got out of the jam unscathed.
While the D-backs haven't always taken full advantage of those early hits, it previously parlayed hot bats into runs in later innings.
Not this time. Arizona (31-33) again faltered attempting to break .500.
The D-backs eventually got enough in that 1-0 win Friday -- with a little help from Chase Anderson's masterful performance on the mound. The next night, they scored three runs and batted through the order in the first inning. In each of the last two games, the D-backs stranded Paul Goldschmidt at second in the first inning but put up four and seven runs, respectively.
On Tuesday, they managed just three more hits after two singles and a reach by way of error in the first.
Meanwhile, pitcher Jeremy Hellickson had been maybe the only consistent of the D-backs starters before his last outing, which lasted 3 2/3 innings when he allowed five earned runs. He got back to his solid self Tuesday, continuing the string of strong pitching performances that had been the foundation of this winning streak.
Unfortunately for Arizona, it wasn't flawless.
Hellickson went six innings, striking out six. In the sixth frame, he hung a fastball over the plate for Albert Pujols to crank a two-run homer, giving Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. The Angels added an insurance run when David Freese took D-backs reliever Randall Delgado deep for another two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth.
* Yasmany Tomas, with a runner on first in the top of the eighth, took a low and away strikeout looking. According to PITCH F/X, it was well within the strike zone, and a shot of Chip Hale afterward showed the skipper shaking his head.
* A few mistakes by the Angels aided Arizona's cause early. Take the second inning, when Chris Owings reached third base after a single and two passed balls that got behind Angels rookie catcher Carlos Perez. A.J. Pollock's sacrifice fly scored Owings for Arizona's only run of the game.
1.07 - Over the last five games, the D-backs starting pitchers of Chase Anderson, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Robbie Ray and Jeremy Hellickson have a 1.07 ERA.
Arizona called up Danny Dorn after placing Ender Inciarte on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain suffered Monday. Dorn started at first base, moving Goldschmidt to the DH spot, but he will also play in the outfield. Dorn led Arizona with two hits Tuesday.