Grit Index: Diamondbacks shutout by Doubront, Red Sox in McCarthy's return to mound
Despite striking out five in his 4.1 innings pitched on the day, McCarthy hit a wall in the Red Sox's fifth inning, loading the bases and ultimately allowing two runs -- both earned -- to score. McCarthy walked three, giving up five hits in the loss.
The 30-year-old pitcher needed 97 pitches to get his 13 outs, with many of them coming in the fifth, when McCarthy gave up four hits.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks managed eight hits -- just one less than their opponent -- but failed to score a run, leaving three runners in scoring position. All of the team's hits were singles and they failed to earn a walk during the contest.
Both Martin Prado and Cody Ross -- manager Kirk Gibson's four and five hitters -- recorded multi-hit games, while Aaron Hill, Gerardo Parra and Didi Gregorius went hitless.
Josh Collmeneter gave the Red Sox their other two runs on the day, getting into trouble in the sixth inning. In the inning, Parra, who was playing right field, made his second misplay of the day, losing a flyball in the Boston sun, which ultimately allowed a run to score. The play was ruled a hit and RBI, unlike Parra's similar first-inning gaffe, which came on a sharp line drive off the bat of Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.
In the seventh inning, Parra again battled the sun to make a routine catch in shallow right field, warranting sarcastic cheers from Red Sox fans.
Collmenter's Parra-aided struggles aside, the Diamondbacks bullpen again performed exceptionally well, holding Red Sox batters hitless in a committee of Will Harris, Joe Thatcher and Heath Bell.
Former Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew went 2-for-3 on Sunday, scoring two of the Red Sox's four runs.
The Diamondbacks early-season bullpen struggles could be behind them for good.
Since July 11, relief pitchers Heath Bell, Will Harris, J.J. Putz, Joe Thatcher and Brad Ziegler have combined to toss 32.2 innings, allowing just two earned runs, 24 hits and nine walks, while striking out three. That's good for a 0.55 ERA, a 0.734 WHIP and a 9.09 K/9 rate.
The Diamondbacks have a -2 run differential in the months of July and August. They stand 5.5 games back from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and they are just one game above .500 on the season, at 56-55.
-Left-handed pitcher Tony Sipp was designated for assignment prior to Sunday's game, with the Diamondbacks activating Brandon McCarthy in a corresponding move.
The Diamondbacks wrapped up their six-game, three-stop road trip going 2-6 and they now return to Chase Field for a nine-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles. On Tuesday, Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley (8-8, 3.68) will face Rays righty Jeremy Hellickson (10-4, 4.60).
- Derrick Hall - D-backs president and CEO - Thursday July 24Derrick Hall talks about the approaching trade deadline.
- Bickley Blast - Wednesday July 23Kirk Gibson could be close to being a part of another miracle.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday July 23D-backs GM Kevin Towers talks about the upcoming trade deadline.
- Kirk Gibson- D-backs Manager - Tuesday July 22Did the D-backs tell Brandon McCarthy not to throw his cutter?
- Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs first baseman - Friday July 18Paul Goldschmidt talks about the All-Star Game and his expectations for the season's second half.
- Our Guy Harry - Thursday July 17Our Guy Harry joins Dan and Vince in studio.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs president & CEO - Thursday July 17Derrick Hall on Paul Goldschmidt's leadership abilities and the future of Brad Ziegler.