The Arizona Diamondbacks dug themselves an early hole and were never able to escape on Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.
D-backs starter Brandon McCarthy allowed three first-inning runs, and a late rally came up short as San Francisco held on for a 6-4 win at Chase Field.
"They hit them hard the first two innings," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had some good opportunities, we had some good at bats even down to the last at bat, but it just wasn't our night".
Missed opportunities seemed to be the common theme for both teams.
"We had a lot of opportunities, they had a lot of opportunities," Gibson said. "I think we were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, we left eight runners they left 10 runners, so there were a lot of opportunities there."
For example, in the bottom of the 9th with runners on second and third, Paul Goldschmidt had the opportunity to not only bring in runners, but to win the game as he came onto face Giants' closer Sergio Romo. But Goldschmidt lined out to right on the first pitch, ending the game.
"Right off the bat I thought it had a chance," Goldschmidt said. "Pence had a good beat on it and got to it pretty easily".
Neither starter fared well in Saturday night's game. McCarthy went just five innings. He allowed five runs on 10 hits while striking out two giving him his 10th loss of the season.
"I gave up enough runs to lose the game," McCarthy said. "There were a couple of pitches that weren't the ones that did damage but they got their baserunners."
Ryan Vogelsong also threw five innings allowing four runs on five hits but earned his fifth win of the season behind Pablo Sandoval's 3-for-5, two-RBI night.
The D-backs bullpen continues to impress, this time behind outings by Randall Delgado, Matt Stites and Joe Thatcher, who tossed a combined four innings allowing only two hits. Stites, in just his second big league appearance, got himself into a jam in the eighth when he allowed a hit and two walks, but a visit from pitching coach Mike Harkey seemed to settle him down.
"He came up to me and said ‘This is the fun part; you got yourself into this, now you get to get out of it' and it really was the fun part," Stites said.
The Diamondbacks left a total of 14 runners on base, going 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position and leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
Brandon McCarthy was tagged with his 10th loss and is one shy of tying his career worst set last season.
Stat of the Game:
11: Hunter Pence belted a home run in front of Friday's Front Row Saturday night to give him his 11th home run of the season.
He Said It:
"I don't know what the hell I'm doing wrong," McCarthy said. "I'm baffled because I don't feel like I'm throwing poorly, there's nothing different I'm doing now then when I was throwing well in Oakland. This makes you want to beat your head against the wall because you don't know what to start to fix."
In front of a crowd of 37,916, the Diamondbacks held their annual Native American Recognition Day at Chase Field with Native American dancers, drum groups, vocalists and more.
The D-backs will end the series against the Giants as they send Mike Bolsinger to the mound to face off against Madison Bumgarner on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 with pregame beginning at 12:40 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Bolsinger (1-2, 5.70) is coming off a shaky start at home when he threw 6.1 innings against the Brewers when he allowed seven hits and three runs. With the best record among the Giants starting five pitchers, Bumgarner has posted All-Star-caliber numbers. He earned a win against the D-backs earlier this season on April 5 and looks to get his ninth win of the season.