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Dose of Venom: Addison Reed's closing struggles damper Vidal Nuņo's D-backs debut

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Addison Reed looks to home plate after giving up a two-run home run to Miami Marlins' Marcell Ozuna during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Vidal Nuņo saw his new team beat the Miami Marlins 9-1 on Monday, his first day with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But that kind of offense was nowhere to be found the following day, Tuesday, when he made his debut for the Diamondbacks.

Despite benefiting from three Marlins errors and putting 12 men in scoring position over the course of the game, for the Diamondbacks, it was Nuņo himself who was the only player to cross the plate -- a place where, innings earlier, he had never stood as a major league batter.

Meanwhile, on the Chase Field mound -- another place he had never before stood -- Nuņo was better than ever. He tossed seven scoreless innings, striking out a career-high seven batters while allowing just four men to reach base.

"He was great," manager Kirk Gibson summarized after the game. "He threw all of his pitches well, moved the ball around, had great command of the strike zone. He knew how to use all of his pitches with (catcher Tuffy Gosewisch) and gave us seven great innings."

At the plate, Nuņo had a pair of sacrifice bunts and reached on an error.

His teammates were less fortunate.

Though collecting nine hits, Diamondbacks hitters were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They reached base 14 times in total, thanks to a pair of walks and three errors but failed to cash in on the windfall.

"We had a ton of opportunities," Gibson said. "We were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They made three errors. We didn't capitalize on it. We left 11 guys on base. We scored one run in one inning. So that makes everything else look magnified."

At 90 pitches, Gibson opted to trust his bullpen with the eighth and ninth innings of the game. After allowing a leadoff single in the eighth, setup man Brad Ziegler coaxed a double play and escaped the frame.

The Diamondbacks missed an opportunity to get an insurance run in their half of the eighth, with Gosewisch on third and one out. And another Marlins leadoff man reached in the ninth, when closer Addison Reed walked Ed Lucas aboard. Reed then shimmied three strikes by Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton and got a hard-hit flyball to drop into the glove of centerfielder Ender Inciarte.

Two balls and two strikes later, with Marcell Ozuna at the plate, Nuņo's effort was lost. The Marlins centerfielder crushed a go-ahead two-run home run into the camera well of the Chase Field centerfield wall.

Marlins closer Steve Cishek needed 14 pitches in the Diamondbacks' ninth to get his 20th save of the season.

The Good:

Nuņo was impressive in his Diamondbacks debut, turning in arguably the best start of his major league career, with a career-high seven strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. The left-hander has only lasted seven innings once prior in his career, doing so in a nine-hit, three-run effort.

Nuņo scored his team's only run after reaching on an error by Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee. In two other plate appearances, he laid down clinical sacrifice bunts.

The Bad:

Reed's fifth blown save of the year came as a wrong kind of exclamation point on Nuņo's solid debut.

The Diamondbacks closer now leads the National League in home runs allowed, with nine. He was unavailable for comment after the game.

He Said It:

"That's not how you want to start the ninth," Gibson said of Reed's free pass to Marlins second baseman Ed Lucas in the final frame. "You know, you're asking for trouble."


• Ziegler's scoreless eighth inning effort was his eighth consecutive scoreless appearance.

• Goldschmidt has now reached base safely in 29 consecutive games, thanks to his seventh-inning double.

• The Marlins' ninth-inning comeback gave them their 16th come-from-behind victory of 2014.

Up Next:

Josh Collmenter (7-5, 3.98) will take the mound in Wednesday's season finale, a matinee, as the Diamondbacks look to take the series. Opposing him will be right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.75). First pitch is at 12:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

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