The Arizona Diamondbacks have proved scrappy thus far, as they managed to eke out a couple of victories after battling back during their first two series versus St. Louis and Milwaukee.
They struggled to do the same Monday night after falling behind early in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field, but they couldn't muster enough runs this time.
The D-backs may have out-hit their opponents, and managed to rally back enough to tie the game at one point, but it wasn't enough to overcome a poor pitching effort in the first inning by Trevor Cahill.
Unlike his previous start against St. Louis (during the D-backs other loss of the season), Cahill didn't wait until the sixth to give up multiple runs in an inning to opposing batters. He kicked off the game by allowing a single by Pittsburgh's Starling Marte, followed by an RBI double from Andrew McCutchen. Russell Martin was then walked by Cahill, who's late throw permitted the Pirates catcher to steal second, and then gave similar base on balls treatment to Pedro Alvarez to load the bases.
One well-placed Travis Snider single to right center later and the score was suddenly 3-0.
Cahill got his shit together and pitched through the end of the fifth, when a Marte triple and McCutchen sacrifice fly produced another run, but the damage was done.
Arizona rallied against Wandy Rodriguez and added runs in the second (via a Paul Goldschmidt double and Will Nieves RBI single) and third innings (courtesy of Pirates fielding gaffes and timely hits by Gerardo Parra, Martín Prado, and Alfredo Marte) to tie the game.
It then became a battle of the bullpens, which the Pirates ultimately won (as well as the game) when Josh Collmenter gave up a 402-foot homer to Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones in the eighth inning.
The second game of the Arizona/Pittsburgh series takes place at tonight at Chase Field. Brandon McCarthy will attempt to rebound from his first outing, where he gave up nine hits and six runs to St. Louis, as he goes against the Pirates' James McDonald. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m.