D-backs frustrated by lost opportunities vs. Giants
Arizona strands 13, goes 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position
SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs' main issue Friday was reaching base, but Saturday they had no issue with that. It was stranding them that led to a 4-3 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.
With a 2-for-12 performance with runners in scoring position, the D-backs have now achieved a hit in that situation just three times in their last 29 opportunities. In a sign of desperation, Gerardo Parra attempted an eighth-inning squeeze bunt with men on the corners and two outs while down two runs. The bunt went foul, and Parra eventually grounded out to end the inning.
"I don't know if we're desperate, but we have to do a better job," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "2-for-12 tonight, we left 13 runners on. We had one extra-base hit and had opportunities, but we just didn't capitalize on them."
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt -- second in the National League with 77 RBIs -- is 1-for-9 in the series and grounded out with the bases loaded and two outs for the second consecutive game.
"I think they're pitching him good," Gibson said. "He's been carrying us all year. ... It would be nice if somebody else would pick him up."
Gibson pulled the plug on starter Wade Miley's outing when Eric Chavez pinch-hit with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth. Giants starter Matt Cain induced a ground ball, but shortstop Tony Abreu's throw sailed past Buster Posey at first to score Martin Prado for Arizona's first run in the series' 14 innings.
"We haven't been scoring runs and they have a lot of lefties down there, so I felt we had an opportunity to score some runs in that inning," Gibson said. "He had just gotten done throwing a 31-pitch inning and did a good job getting out of it with just one run. Our bullpen was rested and I chose to go that way. We got one run out of it."
Later in the frame, Goldschmidt bounced out to third to end the inning and keep the Giants ahead, 2-1.
The D-backs felt the umpires made an incorrect call when Cody Ross singled to lead off the eighth. Thinking the ball might have ticked Giants reliever Sandy Rosario's finger, San Francisco called for -- and was granted -- time with center fielder Andres Torres still holding the ball. Ross saw no one was covering second base and he reached it safely before the umpires informed him time had been called.
"I don't think I've ever seen it before and I think it was an incorrect call," Gibson said. "The ball's got to come into the infield and they have to kill the play and call time. There's no imminent danger to anybody. It very well could've cost us a run. It's just a bad break. I don't think I'll see that call again."
Ross called the play "bizarre" and added that he didn't see the Giants call time.
"I definitely shouldn't have had to go back there," Ross said. "I tried to get [an explanation] out of [the ump], but obviously he's not going to say they were wrong.
"It could've ended up costing us a run there."
The Giants encountered issues of their own with runners on base in the fourth after beginning the stanza with three consecutive singles. Posey scored when Jeff Francoeur walked on seven pitches, but the Giants did not muster another run. Pablo Sandoval attempted to score a play later on a wild pitch, but catcher Miguel Montero flipped it back to Miley in time to tag him out.
Miley recorded consecutive outs to escape the jam, but his evening was finished after just four innings. He allowed two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four. He had cruised through most of the first three innings, even retiring eight in a row leading up to the fourth.
"I felt pretty good out there, but I just didn't command it when I wanted to," Miley said. "I fell behind and didn't execute when I needed to."
Posey crushed a two-run home run to straightaway center field in the bottom of the fifth to hand the Giants a three-run lead. With the home run, he improved to 5-for-7 with two home runs off D-backs reliever Josh Collmenter.
"We were just trying to get the fastball in and I left a ball out over the plate," Collmenter said. "It's on me. I was just trying to jam him and get a popout or groundout."
The D-backs again had opportunities to eliminate the deficit in later innings, but came away with only Prado's RBI singles in the sixth and ninth.
Arizona has now lost 12 of its last 15 road games and eight of 11 to the Giants as San Francisco climbed within 4 1/2 games of first place. The Giants have played their best baseball this year against division opponents, with a 29-20 mark against the NL West.
"This division, no one wants to seem to run away with it," Ross said. "It's there for the taking."