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A few raindrops and a delay of less than hour didn't cool the Arizona Diamondbacks' bats Thursday afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. But the Diamondbacks couldn't hang onto a six-run lead and couldn't keep the Reds' Brandon Phillips from hurting them in a 7-6 loss.
Rarely-used catcher Henry Blanco hit his first home run of the season to give Arizona a 6-0 lead, but by the bottom of the seventh inning, the Reds had caught and passed the D-backs. A pair of walks by reliever Bryan Shaw and a fielding error by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt opened the door for Phillips, who already had hit a three-run home run earlier in the game, to hit a two-run double to tie it at 6.
The Diamondbacks (44-48) seemed to have this game well in hand after Blanco's two-run shot chased Reds starter Mike Leake in the top of the sixth inning. The former Arizona State star had turned in strong outings in his previous five starts, but it wasn't to be on Thursday as the Diamondbacks scored single runs in the first, second and third innings.
Aaron Hill had a big day for the Diamondbacks, with a pair of hits and runs batted in including a solo home run in the fifth. Doubles by Justin Upton and Chris Young accounted for another run. The Diamondbacks scored 13 runs in the final two games of the series against a Reds team missing injured star Joey Votto.
Phillips took Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders deep for a three-run home in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-3. Saunders held the Reds hitless until the fifth, but the Reds rallied with Phillips' home run plus the error on Goldschmidt that allowed Xavier Paul to score from second base.
The Diamondbacks went down without a baserunner against hard-throwing Reds All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman in the top of the ninth.
Blanco, Goldschmidt, Hill and Willie Bloomquist each had two hits for the Diamondbacks, who are seven games behind the first-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West with a long homestand starting this weekend at Chase Field.
Jason Kubel was ready to get back into the lineup. He missed four games with a hamstring injury and came back in a big way, homering twice to drive in three runs. Ian Kennedy had a shaky first couple of innings, but then settled down to pitch eight innings, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday 7-1.
In the first inning, after Aaron Hill singled, Kubel hit a 1-0 fastball into the seats to give Arizona a 2-0 early lead. Cincinnati had a pair of hits in the bottom of the inning, but was unable to drive anyone in. In the bottom of the second, they got their run.
After that, Kennedy only allowed another three hits the rest of the way.
Kubel made it 3-1 in the fourth inning with his second homer of the night, his 17th of the year. The D-backs then tacked on two more runs in the fifth with an RBI double by Aaron Hill and a bases loaded walk of Miguel Montero.
Kennedy threw 105 pitches, striking out seven and walking nobody. He pitched with a swagger that has not been seen much this season.
Only Miguel Montero and Stephen Drew did not have a hit for Arizona.
Kennedy picked the win, moving to 7-8 on the year. Matt Latos, who pitched four and two-thirds innings and allowed five runs, fell to 7-3.
The two teams will play the final game of the series on Thursday morning at 9:35 Arizona time.
Get more Diamondbacks coverage over at AZ Snakepit.
The Diamondbacks could have eventually brought back Patrick Corbin, but Collmenter earned the rotation spot and the team didn't want Corbin used in the bullpen. The D-Backs want to keep Corbin on the straight and narrow path to keep him starting.
Bauer just wasn't performing very well in his opportunities, going 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in his four starts. His final start came last night against Cincinnati, only going three innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on only one hit. The walks! Back to Reno goes Bauer for the foreseeable future until he can improve his pitching.
To make room in the rotation for the optioning of Bauer, the Diamondbacks recalled 29 year old Jonathan Albaladejo from Triple-A Reno. Albaldejo ranks second in the Pacific Coast League with 17 saves and is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA (14 ER in 37.2 IP) and 39 strikeouts in 35 relief appearances with the Aces in 2012.
Talk about Collmenter and Bauer with Diamondback fans by heading on over to AZ Snake Pit.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer has a lot of expectations heaped upon him. However, since his call-up, he has been largely ineffective. He is 1-2 in four starts with an ERA of 6.06. He is striking out guys at a decent clip -- 17 in 16 innings and a third, but what is the issue are the walks.
He has walked 13 batters, a rate of 7.16 every nine innings. That just does not cut it in the major leagues. As a result, one local media member -- John Gambodoro or Arizona Sports 620 -- thinks that Bauer might not be in the majors for long right now.
Would not be surprised if Trevor Bauer is sent down to the minors to work on cutting down on his walks.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo620) July 18, 2012
I have always thought that Bauer would end up getting sent back down to work on things.
At this point, with the D-backs struggling to stay in contention for the division, it might be time to make that move.
Bauer is going to be good. It just might not be this season.
Get more Diamondbacks coverage over at AZ Snakepit.
Strikeouts are sexy. But walking guys is a turnoff.
Trevor Bauer only allowed one hit through three innings. Unfortunately he also walked five. And extra unfortunately that one hit was a three home run by Ryan Ludwick in the bottom of the third inning and was all the offense needed by the Reds as they shutout the Diamondbacks 4-0.
Johnny Cueto wasn't exactly sharp either, needing 106 pitches to labor through six innings, giving up four hits and four walks in the process. But the Diamodbacks offense couldn't get the timely hits when it was needed, leaving the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings. The Dbacks again threatened in the ninth inning getting two on before Aaron Hill struck out swinging to end the game.
Josh Collmenter pitched three strong innings of early relief, allowing only one hit while striking out five.
The Diamondbacks used a big four run first inning to help Wade Miley get through some shaky innings of his own en route to a 5 - 3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Miley gave up three runs off of six hits through the first two innings before settling down to throw 3.2 scoreless innings. He left the game after 5.2 IP, eight hits, three earned runs, one walk, and six strikeouts.
Miguel Montero fueled much of the Diamondbacks offense against Bronson Arroyo throughout the night, hitting a double that cleared the bases with the bases loaded in the first inning. He added his fourth RBI of the night with a deep home run to right field in the fourth inning. Montero racked up another double in the top of the ninth inning to end the night 3 - 4.
Justin Upton also went 3 -4 with a RBI, a stolen base, and a walk.
The bullpen combined for 3.1 innings of one hit ball with J.J. Putz shutting the door to record his 18th save on the season.
Arizona looks to end their losing streak while playing four against the first place Reds.