PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 27: Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against pitcher Joe Saunders #34 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 27, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

D-backs Drop Final Game To Phillies In Homerun Fest, 8-4

If you are a chick who digs the long ball, this game was for you. Five jacks out of the yard with two by Chris Young. The D-backs lost the game but won the series against a very good team.

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12 Total Updates since April 25, 2011
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Phillies Get Phat On Saunders' Pitches, D-backs Lose 8-4

The hard luck continued for Joe Saunders on an otherwise lovely day for a midweek matinee game Wednesday at Chase Field. This time, Saunders created his own misfortune.

Sure, his Diamondbacks teammates haven't given him much run support, a trend that remained Wednesday. Saunders received one run of support in his 5.2 innings and had the seventh-lowest among NL starters entering the game.

Never mind the fact that Saunders was 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA against NL East opponents in six career starts. The Philadelphia Phillies figured him out fast, scoring four runs in the first two innings and never looking back in their 8-4 win.

"We had another rocky first inning. That's something that's plagued us all year," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Just unable to hit his spots. A little elevated early, especially, and they made us pay."

The Philly hitters took turns puling line shots to left field off the lefty Saunders. Each of the four hits in the first inning went to left, as did Shane Victorino's solo home run in the second. 

Asked what could cause first-inning problems, Gibson offered the following: "No I don't. I have theories but we'll discuss those internally."

Saunders (0-3) allowed six runs on 10 hits with eight strikeouts and failed to reach the seven-inning mark through five starts this season. He surrendered a two-run shot to Jimmy Rollins in the fifth as the Phils avoided a three-game sweep. 

There was hardly no stopping Placido Polanco, who was 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Ryan Howard, hitless until the top of the ninth, hit a bomb into the left-center outcropping off J.J. Putz to complete the scoring.

Chris Young, batting .204 going into the game and 2-for-17 in four previous games as leadoff man, broke his slump in a big way. Young belted a pair of home runs -- one in the sixth and another in the eighth -- his sixth and seventh of the season. That leads the club.

"I didn't feel like he was lost, didn't think he was really that far off," Gibson said of Young. "He got a hold of a couple (Wednesday) and it showed, so luck will turn for him."

Young recorded his ninth career two-home run game. The Diamondbacks (10-13) are 5-7 in their past 12 games, all of those decided by four runs or less.

The Diamondbacks trailed 6-3 in the seventh with Juan Gutierrez on the mound in relief. Gutierrez loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit batter, then walked in a run with two out on a borderline 3-2 pitch to Brian Schneider that could have been called a strike. 

Schneider entered the game after the top of the first inning when Carlos Ruiz left due to lower back tightness.

Cole Hamels got the win to move to 3-1 after lasting seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits.  He struck out eight for the NL East-leading Phillies (16-8).

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Roy Oswalt Left Phillies For 'Personal Reasons' Day After Getting Rocked By Diamondbacks

We don't want to make light of what must surely be some kind of difficult situation for Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt. Just hours after giving up five earned runs in just three innings of work to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phillies announced that Oswalt has left the team for "personal reasons".

According to reports, there's no date yet for his return and his departure has nothing to do with his pitching performance Tuesday night in Arizona. We could speculate that perhaps his uncharacteristically poor outing was due to some kind of distraction going on his personal life, but at this point there's just no information at all on what's going one.

SB Nation's baseball guru, Rob Neyer, suggests that Kyle Kendrick would be the obvious choice to replace Oswalt in the Phillies rotations. Kendrick is in the Philadelphia bullpen, however, and probably isn't prepared to immediate return to a starting role. 

The Phillies best farm system candidate would be Eddie Bonine who's pitched well at the Triple-A level and has some major league experience.

Whatever is going on with Roy Oswalt, we wish him the best.

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Diamondbacks Romp Through Phillies Staff Continues With Day Game Vs. Hamels

Last time we called for a Diamondbacks sweep (against the Reds), things didn't work out so well. Then we were excited about the series victory and confident about the team going into New York and we got the sweep, just not the one we were looking for. So today, with Joe Saunders (0-2, 4.98, yuck) going against Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.92) we will just stick to being pessimists. 

The lineup for this day game for the D-backs is: Young CF, Johnson 2B, Upton RF, Drew SS, Roberts LF, Nady 1B, Mora 3B, Blanco C, Saunders LHP.

Like with Willie Bloomquist when he was hot, Gibson is using the left field slot for his hot bat. Ryan Roberts is obviously the better choice of Gerardo Parra given his incredible play of late and also to get another right-handed at in the order against Hamels.

Game time is 12:40 p.m. on Fox Sports Arizona with the live game thread hosted at AZ Snake Pit.

Diamondbacks 7, Phillies 5: Roy, oh Roy! What a Win! - AZ Snake Pit
Record: 10-12.  Pace: 74-88.  Change on last season: -1.

The series isn’t over yet, but when this thing started all anyone wanted to talk about was the rotation Philadelphia had bought.  How the Diamondbacks would even face the pheared Phillies was the question on everyone’s lips, especially since this is the same offense that was handcuffed by a sub-par Mets rotation.

 

Diamondbacks Farm Round-Up: April 26th - AZ Snake Pit
All three farm affiliates who saw action tonight saw their games decided by a single run. The Diamondbacks' teams came out on top in only one of them, but with the overall run tally for the day 15-16, it wasn't a disaster.

Snakelet of the Day: Cody Ransom (Triple-A): 3-for-4, two 2B, HR, BB, RBI, R 

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Diamondbacks, Hudson Defeat Phillies 7-5

The Diamondbacks jumped out to an early lead against Roy Oswalt and the Philadelphia Phillies, scoring five runs over the first three innings.

Arizona starting pitcher Daniel Hudson helped his own cause, roping a two-run double in the second inning off of Oswalt. The D-backs played small ball, with Gerardo Parra, Stephen Drew, and Ryan Roberts all driving in runs off of singles.

The Phillies showed signs of life on offense in the sixth inning. Ben Francisco blooped a single to lead off the inning, and after Ibanez lined out, Pete Orr was able to get on base. With runners on first and second, Brian Schneider struck out. 

Ross Gload pinch-hit for Kyle Kendrick and drove in Ben Francisco with two outs. Hudson was in dangerous territory, but he was able to strike out Shane Victorino to end the inning.

Ryan Roberts wasn't about to let the Phillies close in, hitting a solo home run off of Mike Zagurski to give the D-backs a three-run lead. Justin Upton drove in Kelly Johnson on a single in the seventh.

When the ninth inning rolled around, things looked pretty good for Arizona -- until Ben Francisco hit a two-out, two-run homer off of David Hernandez to bring the game within two runs.

That's where the threat ended, and the Diamondbacks escaped with a 7-5 victory.

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Diamondbacks Look To Follow Up Kennedy's Gem In Game 2 Vs. Phillies

OK Daniel Hudson, no pressure on you taking the mound the day after Ian Kennedy plowed through the Phillies line up in a complete game, 10 strikeout gem of a game. It's not like you've started the season 0-4 with an ERA of 5.92. Try not to think about the guy you are pitching against, Philadelphia's number three man, Roy Oswalt. Oswalt is only 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA. You can take him. No pressure.

Game time is 6:40 p.m. on Fox Sports Arizona. Be there or be in front of the TV watch the NBA Playoffs. Your call.

Here's a couple of nice updates from AZ Snake Pit:

Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Ian Kennedy is Vast-Lee Underrated - AZ Snake Pit
Within 48 hours of being with his wife as she gave birth to their first child, Ian Kennedy produced a little gem of his own. He pitched the first complete-game shutout of his career, blanking the team with the best record in the majors on just three hits, striking out ten and walking none: only three Philadelphia players reached base against him all night. Meanwhile, the pitcher you might have expected to throw the shutout, Cliff Lee, took the L, despite striking out a dozen Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks Farm Round-Up: April 25 - AZ Snake Pit
Three wins out of four for the Diamondbacks farm teams, and the loss was by a single run, so a good day's work all round. We outscored the opposition almost two-to-one, by a margin of 23-12. And on a night when the major-league team showcased a brilliant performance by their starting pitcher, it seems only fair to give the award to an almost as good performance in the minors.

 

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