Ian Kennedy was saddled with the loss in Colorado while only giving up three hits. Well today, he nearly did one better, giving up just two hits until the 7th inning came along. While he also walked two and hit a batter, putting the lead-off Giant on base in four of the first six innings, he managed to avoid getting into serious trouble.
Kennedy didn't give up a hit until the 5th inning, a single to Brandon Crawford. (Of course, it was right after I noticed it, but I did not say it aloud!) Marco Scutaro doubled in the 6th inning, but after an infield fly, Kennedy struck out Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt to strand Scutaro at second.
Madison Bumgarner was handling the Diamondbacks with just as much ease. The Diamondbacks had their biggest scoring threat early, in the 2nd inning. With one out, Alfredo Marte singled and Didi Gregorius doubled down the left field line, putting runners at second and third. But Cliff Pennington struck out (his ninth of the road trip), and Ian Kennedy hit a slow roller to strand both runners.
After the 2nd inning, MadBum went to work. He was efficient with his pitches and seemed to get a lot of groundouts or low line-outs (whereas Kennedy got a lot of outs in the air, which excited the crowd because they were either deep fly balls or high pop-ups in this warm April afternoon). Bumgarner sat down all 12 Diamondbacks he faced in the 3rd through 6th innings. After a leadoff walk to Cody Ross in the 7th inning, he struck out the side.
The general feel in the gameday thread and the stadium was that the first team to score would win. And with both pitchers keeping the opponents off-balance, it could go either way. Or, put it another way, which manager would leave his starter in just a bit too long?
Ian Kennedy blinked first. After Gregor Blanco singled to right to lead off the frame, Kirk Gibson decided not to go to Brad Ziegler, who had been warming in the ‘pen. Brandon Crawford provided the first run of the game when he doubled to deep center field, easily scoring Blanco. Then Gibson brought in Ziegler, who got three outs on six pitches.
Arizona was able to tie it up the next half inning. With one out, Eric Hinske doubled to... well, to Santiago Casilla, actually. The ball was clearly fair down the left field line, but the ball headed right to Casilla and he caught it! Which, if he were a fan, would've gotten him ejected. In fact, Kirk Gibson tried to convince home plate umpire Eric Cooper to award Hinske third base, but, c'mon, it's Eric Hinske. He would have gotten to second anyway, yes, but there's no way he gets to third even if Casilla doesn't interfere. While Gibson argued, Gerardo Parra pinch ran for Hinske, and then A.J. Pollock's single brought in Parra to tie the game up.
After a scoreless frame from Heath Bell (ERA watch: 4.50!), Jose Mijares came in to pitch the 9th inning for San Francisco. With two out, Didi Gregorius doubled to center. Rather, he hit a ball that should have been caught but for poor communication in the outfield, and because he had run fast all the way (possibly because he was upset, thinks Steve Gilbert), he ended up at second base. So, then Cliff Pennington was intentionally walked to Mijares could face Parra. Yes, you read that right. Cliff pennington, who was 1-for-22 on the road trip at this point... was intentionally walked for the second him in his career. And yes, Gerardo Parra made Bruce Bochy and the Giants pay by singling just over the head of Crawford at short to score Gregorius and re-take the lead.
So here we go, bottom of the 9th inning, and... oh, it's not like the back of our bullpen has had any trouble on this road trip with saves... it was David Hernandez who made the appearance today. With one down, here came Crawford, who deposited a pitch into the right field arcade. [Collective Snakepit reaction not suitable for print.] Just like that, the Giants, and the crowd, was back into the game.
It just wouldn't be a getaway day without extra innings. Thankfully, it also wouldn't be a getaway day without a victory. With one out in the 10th, Paul Goldschmidt walked and Cody Ross doubled to put runners on second and third. Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to bring up Eric Chavez... er, Wil Nieves... who hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Goldschmidt from third and put the Diamondbacks ahead.
Matt Reynolds was given the chance for the save in the 10th, and of course he allowed a two-out double to Brandon Belt to make things interesting, but Joaquin Arias grounded out to shortstop to end the game - a getaway day victory for the Diamondbacks (7-0 now) and an extra-inning victory (5-0 now) at that!
Awesome: G Parra, +37.7%
Pretty Good: C Ross, +17.4%, M Reynolds +16.6%;
WTF Mate?: D Hernandez, -33.4%
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It seems the plane has successfully landed back in Arizona, much to the relief of the players, I'm sure. (Also, probably to everybody; since I'm so late with this recap, it better have made it there by now!) Time to face those Colorado Rockies again this weekend, this time on home turf. The games are back to their 6:40 start times for Thursday and Friday evenings.