PHOENIX -- The D-backs believed right up until Jake Lamb swung through a 97-mph fastball to end the game that they were going to find a way to win on Wednesday afternoon.Instead they came up just short, falling, 5-4, to the Pirates as their five-game winning streak came to an
PHOENIX -- The D-backs believed right up until Jake Lamb swung through a 97-mph fastball to end the game that they were going to find a way to win on Wednesday afternoon.
Instead they came up just short, falling, 5-4, to the Pirates as their five-game winning streak came to an end at Chase Field.
The Pirates held a 5-2 lead headed into the ninth with Pittsburgh closer Felipe Vazquez on the mound.
A leadoff single by Ketel Marte and a walk to pinch-hitter Chris Owings, though, had the D-backs feeling like they were going to find a way to at least tie the game.
"The guys never quit," newly acquired outfielder Jonathan Jay said. "You play it out until the end, and that's what it's all about. We grinded it today, we gave it our all and came up just short, but it was still a good series and now we look forward to the next one."
Jay, a left-handed hitter, delivered the big hit in the ninth with a two-out, two-run single to left.
It was no easy feat, given that the lefty Vazquez was featuring a fastball that hit 101 mph on the day.
"He's got good stuff," Jay said. "I was just trying to go up there and keep the inning alive. I know I've got Goldy behind me and the rest of the order coming up, so I was just trying to do my part and keep the line moving."
Because Jay took second when the Pirates tried to nab Nick Ahmed at the plate, the Pirates elected to walk Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases and get another lefty-on-lefty matchup between Vazquez and Lamb.
The Pirates built their lead thanks to a four-run second inning against D-backs ace Zack Greinke, who allowed two walks and three hits in that 40-pitch second. He exited after 4 2/3 frames, his shortest start of the season.
"I felt good, but at the same time, when I threw a pitch over the plate, they hit it pretty good," Greinke said. "As long as I made really good pitches, it was fine. I wasn't able to do that every time. I thought they looked good against me today."
Outside of the second inning, the only time the Pirates were able to get to Greinke was in the fourth, when he allowed a solo homer to Jordy Mercer.
"I've been hit a little bit harder this year, I feel like," Greinke (5-4) said, in comparison to his stuff from last year, when he went 17-7. "Besides that, sort of similar. I feel like location's been pretty good, for the most part, this year. The pitching all around has been all right this year. If I was going to say anything, I've been hit a little bit harder. So the results are a little bit worse."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Golden opportunity: After the Pirates scored four in the top of the second, it looked like the D-backs might answer back in the bottom half. With a runner on first, Greinke blooped a two-out single to center and Jay drew a walk to load the bases for Goldschmidt. Tallion, though, struck out Goldschmidt with a 96-mph fastball, and the D-backs were unable to get a runner in scoring position until the ninth.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
D-backs outfielder David Peralta hit his 12th home run of the season in the first inning, but he got an assist on it by left fielder Austin Meadows, as the ball hit off Meadows' glove and then went over the wall.
The homer was Peralta's 500th career hit.
The D-backs begin a four-game series with the Mets on Thursday at Chase Field. Arizona will send Matt Koch to the mound for the first contest. Koch holds a 4.34 ERA through 10 starts after replacing Taijuan Walker (Tommy John surgery). The D-backs will face Steven Matz, who owns a 5.40 ERA in two career games against Arizona. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MST.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.