Grit Index: D-backs fall to Rays in series opener
Ian Kennedy's struggles continued in his final start before the MLB trade deadline.
Kennedy, who hasn't won since June 1, failed to increase his trade value in the D-backs' 5-2 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night.
The veteran right-hander surrendered three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in five innings of work.
Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist led the way offensively for the Rays, driving in two runs each. Escobar hit his eighth home run of the year in the fourth inning off Kennedy.
Arizona had no answer for Tampa starter Roberto Hernandez (6-11), who came within an out of a complete game shutout. It was, however, Hernandez's first complete game of the year.
The D-backs were in danger of being blanked two games in a row before Eric Chavez hit a two-run home run, his eighth of the season, in the ninth inning. But ultimately, Chavez's long ball wasn't enough to rally the D-backs.
Chavez raised his average to .300 on the season. He went 1-for-3 with a home run, walk and two RBI for Arizona. The veteran infielder has heated up again as of late, batting .316 in the past seven games. He is batting .250 for the month of July.
With the loss, Kennedy fell to 3-8 on the season. He has failed to record his 50th career win for the 10th straight start.
- The game was delayed for 20 minutes when some lights went out in the second inning due to a lightning strike at a power substation in the area.
- The Rays remain scorching hot, notching their 21st win in 25 games for the month of July.
- D-backs' right-hander Trevor Cahill gave up four runs -- three earned -- on five hits with three punchouts and three walks in 5.1 innings during a rehab start for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday night.
The D-backs and Rays will play the second of their three-game series on Wednesday, July 31. Left-hander Wade Miley (7-8, 3.86) will get the start for Arizona. He will be opposed by right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (10-3, 4.48) for Tampa.
Daria Del Colliano, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
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