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Snake Bytes 8/14: Losses are bigger in Texas

Arizona opens up the series against Texas with a loss.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Texas Rangers 5

[D’] D-backs stumble again vs. struggling Rangers - The D-backs seemed in good position with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound, and they caught a break in the first inning when, with Paul Goldschmidt at second, right fielder Joey Gallo froze on a line drive hit by A.J. Pollock and the ball sailed over his head. That allowed Goldschmidt to score and Pollock to reach second, where he scored from one out later on Steven Souza Jr.’s double to left. That would usually have been enough for Greinke, who had not allowed more than two runs in an outing since June 18 -- a span of nine starts. However, after cruising through the first two innings, Greinke (12-8) allowed a leadoff homer to Ronald Guzman. Then in the fourth, the Rangers got a three-run homer from Robinson Chirinos to take a 4-2 lead they wouldn’t lose.

[AZ Central] Road woes continue as Diamondbacks drop opener in Texas - Colon (7-10) retired 10 consecutive batters after allowing run-scoring doubles by A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr. in the first. Pollock’s liner was misplayed in right field by Joey Gallo. The 45-year-old right-hander got his 247th career win, two more than Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua. A native of the Dominican Republic, Colon has four more victories than countryman and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. Chirinos’ 443-foot drive into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center was his 16th homer of the season. Ronald Guzman led off the third with his 13th homer after Greinke (12-8) retired the first six Texas hitters.

[Arizona Sports] Record-setting Colon wins again as Rangers top D-backs - Bartolo Colon won his first start since setting the record for victories by a Latin American pitcher, going five innings to help the Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Monday night. Robinson Chirinos hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fourth inning to end Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke’s streak of nine straight starts allowing two runs or fewer. The Diamondbacks began the night a game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in the NL West.

Diamondbacks News

[D’] D-backs’ headwear a nod to bench coach Narron - For several of their road trips this year, the D-backs have gone with different dress-up themes. There was a “Miami Vice” trip to play the Marlins, and a “Saturday Night Live” theme on the road to play the Mets. Arizona bench coach Jerry Narron wasn’t sure what to make of the outfits he saw worn by the team on Sunday night’s flight from Cincinnati to Dallas. It wasn’t until Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told him that they were dressing up as Narron with his trademark Panama hat, that he understood. “I saw a couple of people get on a bus the other day with hats on, but I didn’t have any clue they were doing a trip,” Narron said. “None.”

[Arizona Sports] Robbie Ray syncing up with rotation is key to Diamondbacks’ pennant push - Eight games. Of the 28 games left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray started for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, the D-backs only lost eight of those games. Through 15 starts in 2018, the D-backs have fallen nine times already on Ray days. Ray’s struggles this season have been one of the difference-makers in the D-backs not having more control in the race for a National League West title and the team overall looking like a contender.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks 3B Eduardo Escobar’s comfort level growing with new team - It took until his 12th game for Eduardo Escobar to hit his first home run with his new team, and the Diamondbacks third baseman followed it up with another homer the next day. Manager Torey Lovullo thinks Escobar’s comfort level might have had something to do with that. “I think all players when they get thrown into a new environment take a little time to adjust,” Lovullo said. “He’s been doing great, but I know him hitting that first home run was quite a relief for him. Hopefully there’s a lot of that to come.”

[The Athletic] Archie Bradley is all mixed up about his pitch mix - As always,​ Archie Bradley was direct​ and​ honest. No​ one else had been willing to​ acknowledge​ the​ team​​ meeting that clearly had occurred right after the Diamondbacks’ depressing 6-3 loss to the Reds on Saturday. Manager Torey Lovullo denied its existence when asked, and starting pitcher Robbie Ray responded to a question about it by saying such information would be kept in the clubhouse. But not Bradley. The loss largely hung on his shoulders – he allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings, spoiling a 3-2 Arizona lead – and so, too, did the need for a closed-door summit. The Diamondbacks have dropped two straight to the last-in-their-division Reds and are in danger of spoiling the softest portion of their remaining schedule. So, Bradley said, Lovullo needed to make a point to his players after the game.

Around the League

[ESPN] Power Rankings: New rivals boost AL’s dominance - Not much movement can be made despite winning a series against the first place Philadelphia Phillies because of the series loss to the last place Cincinnati Reds. ESPN bumps Arizona down to #10. CBS Sports has the snakes at #11. has the D’backs at #9. Bleacher report shows no movement for the team at #9 this week. The Athletic is as confused by the team as the rest of us and signals a push at #8.

[CBS Sports] Indians say Leonys Martin was battling a life-threatening bacterial infection days ago - Last week, the Indians placed trade deadline pickup Leonys Martin on the 10-day DL with an undisclosed illness, and, a few days, later, manager Terry Francona cryptically asked fans to keep Martin in their thoughts. On Monday, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti spoke about Martin’s condition, and revealed he is battling a life-threatening bacterial infection that affected multiple organs. The positive news is Martin (sic) is the outlook for Martin’s recovery looks good.

[Sports Illustrated] Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Will Likely Have Second Heart Surgery This Offseason - Kenley Jansen will have a follow up appointment for his irregular heartbeat on Aug. 20, but the Dodgers closer told reporters on Monday that he thinks there is a high likelihood he will need a second heart surgery this offseason, according to ESPN. Los Angeles placed the three-time All-Star on the disabled list Friday after he felt discomfort prior to a game against the Rockies on Thursday. It was reported that he would miss about a month with this issue that appeared previously in 2011 and 2012.

[Arizona Sports] D-backs first-round pick, Braves P Touki Toussaint thrives in debut - The Arizona Diamondbacks got their first MLB look at Touki Toussaint, the team’s first-round pick from 2014 they dealt to the Atlanta Braves. The rookie Toussaint pitched well against the Miami Marlins on Monday. He went six innings, allowing two hits, two walks and one earned run while striking out four and hitting a batter. Toussaint’s nasty breaking ball was on full display.