Before Friday night’s game, manager Chip Hale told reporters left-hander Patrick Corbin was his most consistent pitcher. Entering his start against Pittsburgh Pirates, Corbin had a 2.70 ERA, and that represented the second lowest ERA among Arizona starters.
So much for prosperity. In the span of two plus innings, Corbin surrendered three home runs and ended up with five runs allowed, four earned, for his eventual six innings of work. While the Diamondbacks made a serious run in the late innings, the Pirates survived and defeated Arizona, 8-7 before 27,829 Friday night in Chase Field.
The loss snapped the Diamondbacks’ five game streak, and dropped Arizona back to .500 (at 9-9). With their eight runs Friday night, the Pirates scored 19 runs in their previous two contests.
Giving up three bombs in one game was deja vu for Corbin. During his first start of the season April 6 at home against the Rockies, Corbin gave up homers to Trevor Story, DJ Mahehieu and Ryan Raburn in taking a loss. Against the Pirates Friday night, Corbin yielded back-to-back second inning bombs to Sean Rodriguez, a two-run shot, and Gregory Polanco, as well as a lead-off homer Jordy Mercer in the third.
“I missed my spots early, and didn’t throw my best stuff,” Corbin said. “It’s frustrating, and I didn’t do what I wanted to do. I was not working ahead in the count like I’m used to doing.”
Down 5-1 in the by the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks mounted a modest comeback. The first of two Welington Castillo home runs, as well as a RBI double from Corbin, chopped the Pittsburgh advantage to 5-4 after four. In the final three innings, relievers. Silvino Bracho and Randall Delgado could not hold the Pirates at bay. Pittsburgh picked up two in the eighth off Bracho and Delgado, on a double from Josh Harrison and RBI single from Rodriguez, allowed one in the eighth.
For the game, the two teams combined for six home runs and 13 extra base hits. The Diamondbacks managed to pick up 15 hits, and that was one short of their season best of 16 against the Giants on April 18.
“When the ball is flying out of here, like it I did (Friday night), pitchers have to keep the ball down,” said manager Chip Hale. “I like the way we battled back, and made it close. But close does not win ball games.”
This could have been a case of déjà vu. Then again, this is just the way the Diamondbacks conduct their affairs these days.
Talk in the dugout and execution on the field appear as the main characterized which govern play these days. On Thursday, Tyler Wagner picked up a dreadful start from Shelby Miller, but Friday, the team as a whole, failed to pick up starter Patrick Corbin.
“I could tell warming up in the bullpen that (Corbin) did not have his best stuff,” said Castillo, who has six extra base hits in his last seven hits. “After one or two innings, you can tell if a pitcher has his good stuff going. After those early hits, we went with sinker and curve, and he was much better. Like I said, he didn’t have his best stuff but he competed.”
Down 8-4 in the eighth, the Diamondbacks managed to score three in the frame and had an opportunity gain the lead. With the bases loaded and two out, Pirates’ closer Mark Melancon had Yasmany Tomas ground to third, and that ended the rally. Melancon, who recorded a National League-leading 51 saves a year ago, retired the Diamondbacks in order in the ninth. With the 1-2-3 frame, Melancon picked up his fourth save of the season.
MORE WEEKEND BASEBALL
The series with the Pirates continues. On Saturday at 5:10 p.m., righty Rubby De La Rosa (1-3, 8.44 ERA) faces right-hander Juan Nicasio (2-1, 4.80 ERA). In the series finale Sunday afternoon at 1:10 p.m, lefty Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96 ERA) opposes left-hander Francisco Liriano (1-1, 4.11 ERA).
The current home stand continues next week. Starting Monday night, the St. Louis Cardinals move in for four games, and right-hander Zack Grienke makes his fifth start for Arizona in the series opener. To conclude the current 10-game home stand, the Rockies follow the Red Birds for three games.