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Saunders Solid But Not Good Enough In Diamondbacks Loss To Giants, 5-3

Uh oh. Don't look now, but the gritty Diamondbacks have dropped three straight and fallen to 5-8 on the season. The loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night threatens to deflate some of the optimism Arizona had built with the series win over the Reds. 

Gone are the big hitting nights and solid bullpen performances. The D-backs managed just three runs tonight against Barry Zito and the Giant's arms.

Zito gave up two runs before he left the game after hurting his foot making a play on a bunted ball in the second inning. Normally, you would be happy to get into a team's pen so early in the game but in this case the World Champs might have been better off with the four innings they got from Guillermo Mota in long relief.

Mota gave up one run and three hits with four strikeouts and no walks to bridge the gap from Zito to the normal late inning relief. 

Joe Saunders gave a solid outing and deserved better than the five earned runs he was tagged with. After giving up a two-run shot to Buster Posey in the first, he was solid into the seventh inning.

Joe took a line drive off the foot from Pat Burrell to lead things off but stayed in the game and proceed to pick off the pinch runner, Darren Ford, to clear the bases. Unfortunately, Saunders gave up a two more singles and a walk to load the bases with two outs. Kirk Gibson came and got his veteran lefty who had tossed 97 pitches (56 for strikes) and gave the ball to Sam Demel.

Saunders finished with 12 hits allowed but survived that by inducing a franchise-tying five double-plays.

If Demel bails out his starter and gets the one out, the game stays tied at three. Instead, Freddy Sanchez punched a ball between second and third that drove in two runs. Joe Paterson came in to get the final out of the inning and the D-bats were unable to make any progress against the Giant's pen.

The Giants, obviously, are a very good team but you hate to lose a game like this. Getting timely hits is important but it's just as important for the bullpen to come into a pressure situation and get a big out. Demel didn't deliver and this game is on him.

The D-backs finish the series and try and avoid the sweep on Sunday against the Giants. Barry Enright will face Madison Bumgarner in a 1:10 p.m. start at Chase.

For more on this game visit Diamondbacks blog, AZ Snake Pit.

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 5: Saunders shaky, offense quiet, and double plays plentiful - AZ Snake Pit
In an absolutely shocking turn of events, we did not get to witness the highly-expected pitchers' duel between Barry Zito and Joe Saunders, two pitchers with ERA+ of 101 and 93 (respectively) since 2009. Zito fell victim to the whole injured-opposing-pitchers virus that seems to take hold of nearly every starter that goes up against Arizona. Ok, so maybe saying nearly every starter is a slight exaggeration, but it's certainly a fun little tidbit of information.