Sandoval's moonshot apparently caused the righty rookie's confidence to go into the crapper, as the remainder of his time on the mound was ineffective at best. Buckner (2-2, 6.75 ERA) especially started to, er, suckner into the sixth, Fueling an RBI single by Aaron Rowland dealing a pair of wild pitches that provided Juan Uribe with opportunities to steal third and eventually score. All in all, the Jints got 13 hits during his 5.2 innings of work, on their way to racking up a season-high total of 17 smacks overall.
While our inner sportswriter would love to draw parallels between Buckner's fiasco fest and that more infamous fielding flub by a certain BoSox player of the same name, such comparisons would be a little unfair, considering that this was essentially a nothing game that went down much like any of Arizona's other recent losses.
Before the pitching meltdown, the Snakes had mounted a 4-2 lead early in the contest after home runs by Mark Reynolds (his 15th this season) and Stephen Drew. (The only other noteworthy highlight for the Diamondbacks was a gravity-defying leap by Josh Whitesell to grab a cut-off throw from Reynolds in time to tag out Eli Whiteside in the fourth).
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The G-Men were also aided by the shaky glove skills of Miguel Montero, who flubbed a couple of plays at the plate. In addition to bobbling an ace outfield throw from Justin Upton as Randy Winn slid into the dish during the third, the catcher couldn't nab the ball after a bunt by Whiteside in the sixth frame, giving Uribe an opening to dash on home.
By that point, the score was lopsided enough that most of the scribes in the Chase Field press box seemed more interested in covering the Snakes' selection of seven players during the first round of yesterday's MLB Draft. The picks included including Florida switch-hitter Bobby Borchering (considered to be one 50 best high school prospects in the nation), and Notre Dame slugger A.J. Pollock (who led the Fighting Irish in batting for the past three seasons). Both have major potential to become superstars for our hometown heroes in years to come.
Regarding the team's more immediate future, Arizona plans to send Doug Davis (3-6, 3.36) to the hill this evening against San Francisco's Barry Zito (2-6, 3.86) during the second game of the series. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more info, visit www.dbacks.com.