D-backs stumble again vs. struggling Rangers
Arizona falls to 1-3 on nine-game road swing vs. last-place teams
ARLINGTON -- This one seemed set up perfectly for the D-backs.
After a bounce-back win against the Reds on Sunday, they had their ace, Zack Greinke, on the mound Monday night against a Rangers team that got in late Sunday night from New York.
Instead, the D-backs couldn't build on some early offense and wound up losing, 5-3, at Globe Life Park.
"It was a very emotional win for us yesterday, and I thought we came out here and were ready to play despite the circumstances that we couldn't get on the field [pregame] due to the rain," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "But our guys were ready, and we scored two runs and started to play our type of baseball early. You're right, I had that same feeling. But we hit a block wall, and I don't know why or how, but we've got to get ready for tomorrow."
The D-backs entered Monday one game ahead of the second-place Dodgers in the National League West, and they hoped this nine-game road trip would help them add to that advantage.
But after losing two of three to the Reds, Arizona dropped the first of two against the Rangers. The road trip finishes with four games in San Diego.
"I never really worry about games being crucial," Greinke said. "I just think a game is a game, and if you just do what you do, by the end of the year that's going to give you the best chance you have to be in a good spot."
The D-backs seemed in good position after spotting Greinke a pair of runs in the first. After all, Greinke had not allowed more than two runs in his previous nine starts.
The offense, though, went quiet as Bartolo Colon settled in and kept Arizona off the scoreboard again until David Peralta's bloop single scored a run in the fifth.
"It's definitely frustrating," said outfielder Steven Souza Jr., of the team's tendency to struggle offensively in the middle innings. "I think we're all waiting for the big hit at times. We had opportunities through the game and we just couldn't bust it open. I don't really have a good answer for you. I think we swung the bats well yesterday, but again it doesn't help coming in today. I think we've just got to do a better job of stringing hits together."
As the D-backs' offense struggled, the Rangers came alive against Greinke (12-8).
Ronald Guzman started it with a homer to open the third and in the fourth, Robinson Chirinos smacked a three-run shot to give Texas a 4-2 lead.
"[The Rangers are] really good," Greinke said. "I could be off a little bit, but I think they're the best offense in baseball the past month. So, knowing that going in and in their home park, it's going to be tough. But I made more mistakes and got behind in more counts [and that] made it a little bit tougher than it should have been. It would have been a better game if I had just pitched a little better."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Leaving them out there: After the first inning, the D-backs didn't have many scoring opportunities. They cashed in one in the fifth, but the only other time they put runners on base came in the eighth when Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock collected consecutive two-out singles. That brought Eduardo Escobar to the plate. Escobar had homered in the previous two games, but he got fooled by a Cory Gearrin offering and hit a tapper out in front of the plate for the third out.
"At times we've been on good runs, and won a number of games and played our type of baseball," Lovullo said. "It just seems like runs and consistency of the offense has been a little bit on the side that we don't really expect. It's unfortunate, but like I said, it's a hard game. I know our offense will come around and when it does, the timing of the season, hopefully it gets us on a great run."
HE SAID IT
"As much as people want to look at Bartolo Colon and say he doesn't have it anymore, he knows how to pitch. He can shut you down. You've got to give him some credit. After two early runs, we felt very good in the dugout. We had our guy on the mound in Zack. But they battled and played hard. There were just several mistakes that Zack made in that one inning that ended up costing us the game. Aside from that, I felt like we did a lot of good things and unfortunately came up on the short end." -- Lovullo
The D-backs finish up their two-game series with the Rangers at 5:05 p.m. MST Tuesday with Patrick Corbin (9-4, 3.15 ERA) on the mound. The left-hander will be making his first career appearance against Texas. Corbin is 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA over his past nine starts, with 66 strikeouts and just 10 walks. The Rangers will counter with Yovani Gallardo (7-1, 6.11).