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D-backs can't pick up Koch, take SoCal split

Goldschmidt hits 16th homer in 9th inning
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

ANAHEIM -- As injured starters Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray get closer to returning, the pressure grows on other D-backs starters to perform in order to hang onto their job.

With that in mind, Tuesday night was not the best time for Arizona starter Matt Koch to have a rough start.

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ANAHEIM -- As injured starters Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray get closer to returning, the pressure grows on other D-backs starters to perform in order to hang onto their job.

With that in mind, Tuesday night was not the best time for Arizona starter Matt Koch to have a rough start.

View Full Game Coverage

Koch allowed five runs and did not make it out of the sixth inning as the Angels rode a three-run fifth to a 5-4 win over the D-backs for a split of the two-game series at Angel Stadium.

Miller threw a bullpen session Tuesday after starting a rehab game Saturday and he could be on the verge of returning from Tommy John surgery.

When asked after the game if Miller might take Koch's spot next time through the rotation, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was noncommittal.

"Yet to be determined," Lovullo said. "We're going to huddle up and have some conversations probably right after we're done here with you guys and figure out what the next course of action."

Koch's wounds were self-inflicted Tuesday during a three-run Angels fifth inning.

The right-hander hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch to open the frame, and with one out and runners on first and third, he hit Ian Kinsler to load the bases for Mike Trout.

Trout lined a single to left-center, scoring two runs, and Kinsler wound up scoring all the way from first on the play on center fielder Jarrod Dyson's throwing error, and the Angels went up, 4-2.

Video: ARI@LAA: Halos score 3 on error, Trout's 2-run single

"I hit two batters," Koch said. "That was pretty much it. And then I got the bases loaded for Trout and he hit a good pitch. Then that was it. Then [Albert] Pujols had another hit on a good pitch. Those things happen. I got myself into some jams that I shouldn't have, but those things happen. You've got to pitch out of them. Tonight, I wasn't really able to."

Rather than go to the bullpen after the fifth, Lovullo elected to run Koch out for the sixth and that backfired when Koch gave up a leadoff homer to Kole Calhoun.

"I felt like he deserved a chance to go back out there, come back into the dugout and have a chance to potentially win the game," Lovullo said. "He hadn't been through the lineup three times and I felt like he pitched good enough, despite the one inning, to get that opportunity."

That run would prove costly after Paul Goldschmidt's two-run homer in the ninth cut the gap to 5-4.

Koch, who replaced Taijuan Walker in the rotation when Walker underwent Tommy John surgery, is 5-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) this year.

"I learned a lot," Koch said. "It's been fun so far, being around this group of guys and learning the game up here. It's been a lot of fun. Hopefully in the future and going forward, it'll get better."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Cut down: With the game tied at 1 in the third, the D-backs had runners at second and third with one out and David Peralta at the plate. Angels starter Felix Pena had walked two and thrown a wild pitch in the inning and it appeared to be a golden opportunity for the D-backs to take command. Peralta hit a sharp grounder to first that Pujols fielded before throwing home to cut down Goldschmidt at the plate. Daniel Descalso then struck out and the inning was over.

"It was second and third with David up and you're really feeling good about things with breaking the game open, one of our quality hitters who drives in runs," Lovullo said. "I felt like that was an opportunity to break the game open. But we made our opportunities we just couldn't drive in the runs at the right time."

Video: ARI@LAA: Pujols makes long throw to nab Goldy at home

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Former D-backs outfielder Chris Young hit a grounder to third in the sixth that Jake Lamb made a nice backhand play on. Lamb didn't have time to get up, so he threw from the ground and bounced the throw across the infield for the out. That was a big play as the next three Angels batters reached base. Young, unfortunately, injured his hamstring on the play.

Video: ARI@LAA: Lamb lays out, throws from rear to nab Young

UP NEXT
The D-backs will take Wednesday off as they fly to Pittsburgh before opening a four-game series with the Pirates on Thursday night. Zack Godley will get the start for the D-backs and the right-hander is riding a solid two-start stretch in which he is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA. Righty Ivan Nova will start for Pittsburgh, with first pitch set for 4:05 p.m. MST.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks