For most of this forgettable season, Diamondbacks’ pitchers have had a preponderance of yielding the home run.
Prior to his start Sunday, Wade Miley surrendered 20 bombs in his 24 starts to date and that ranks fourth among National League pitchers in that category. While Miley gave up two more homers Sunday which deprived the Hammond, La. native of a win, the home run continued to haunt Arizona relievers.
After Rockies’ catcher Wilin Rosario tied the game with a solo shot in the sixth, Colorado left-fielder Cory Dickerson took reliever Oliver Perez deep to open the 10th inning and the Rockies went on to defeat the Diamondbacks, 5-3 before 22,104 Sunday.
The loss prevented Arizona from sweeping the weekend set and the Diamondbacks have swept only one series at home all season. That was in mid-July when they took three straight from the Cubs.
Afterward, Miley discounted to notion of giving up home runs both at inopportune times and the frequency.
“Sometimes, homers don’t hurt you but you have to watch not giving them up in bad situations,” he said. “The homer to (Ben) Paulson came after a walk and you can’t put guys on and then give up homers.”
The gopher balls Miley surrendered Sunday eliminated the reality of reaching an 8-8 season mark. Miley left after six innings, allowed six hits but surrendered that two-run blast to the left-handed hitting Paulson in the second and a solo shot to Rosario with one out in the sixth.
“The one to Rosario was a fast ball and he got it,” Miley said. “Bad pitch at a bad place and you can’t make that mistake.”
If Miley had difficulty with the homer, the same malady plagued Perez, who gave up the game-winner to Dickerson, his 14th of the season. The homer was the first allowed by the 33-year-old Perez since April 24 against the Cubs and two runs allowed by Perez jumped his ERA from 1.81 before the game to a current 2.17 for 50 appearances.
“It was a mistake (to Dickerson) and that’s a team waiting for a mistake,” Perez said. “You have good streaks and bad streaks but you have to be consistent. One bad pitch can change everything.”
If Colroado homers were the margin of difference, missed opportunities characterized the Diamondbacks’ afternoon.
In the end, Arizona was 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners stranded.
Their best chance came in the ninth inning.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases on a walk to Didi Gregorius to open the inning, a walk to Ender Inciatre with one out and a single off the bat of Aaron Hill.
Against lefty Rex Brothers, David Peralta grounded weakly to drawn-in shortstop Josh Rutledge, whose throw to the plate forced Gregorius for the second out. Colorado manager Walt Weiss then went to reliever Matt Belisle, who induced Mark Trumbo to ground to first and end the inning.
“We definitely had our opportunities and that’s a game we should have won,” said manager Kirk Gibson. “The pitch by Perez (to Dickerson) got away and it was just a bad pitch. But, we had our chances.”
The loss snapped the Diamondbacks undefeated streak at home in extra inning games at five and Arizona is now 9-3 overall in games decided in extra frames.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Diamondbacks now open a 10-game road swing and the first stop is Cleveland for an inter-league series with the Indians.
On Tuesday night, Josh Collmenter (8-6, 4.09 ERA) takes on left-hander T. J. House (1-3, 4.13). On Wednesday and conclusion of the short, two-game series, Vidal Nuno (0-2, 4.05) opposes righty Trevor Bauer (4-7, 4.52), the Diamondbacks’ first selection and third pick over in the 2011 draft.
The only hitter with any kind of numbers against the four projected starters is Cleveland outfielder Michael Bourn, who is 2-for-11 (.182) lifetime against Collmenter.
The other three starters, Nuno, House and Bauer have not faced their opponents prior to this series.
Then, it’s to Miami for four and four with the Nationals in the nation’s capital.
The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field on Friday August 22 against San Diego and the start of an eight-game home stand against the Padres, Dodgers and Rockies.
TO BEAT GOES ON
With a single to lead off the game in the first inning, Inciarte’s hitting streak reached 11 games.
Defensively, he is tied for second with eight outfield assists and that is tops among National league rookies.