It was a game the Diamondbacks might have won had they been in the American League. Starter Doug Davis allowed only 2 runs in his 5-inning, 69-pitch outing, both of them in the first inning. But manager Bob Melvin lifted him for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth in an unsuccessful bid to score a run in a game that was 2-1 Pittsburgh at that point. Pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo struck out.
Then in the 7th inning, Tony Pena gave up 3 runs.
The Diamondbacks tied the score with 4 runs in the top of the eighth, but failed to get more when Eric Byrnes ended the rally by grounding out to third with runners on first and second. He also flied out, struck out, and GIDP in this game. (Chris Snyder GIDP twice). When Byrnes singled (176) and stole 2nd base (48) with two out in the third, he was stranded as Mark Reynolds grounded out.
Brandon Lyon gave up Pittsburgh’s winning run. A 1-out double, a balk that moved the runner to third, and a ground ball single to left made the score 6-5 Pittsburgh, and Pirates’ reliever Matt Capps pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save. (Saloman Torres got the win).
And thus the D’Backs continue the disturbing habit of losing the first game of a road trip or home stand. This one was a particularly bitter loss because a) the Pirates entered the game with a 9-game losing streak; b) the Diamondbacks left 10 runners on base so this wasn’t a case of the Pirates pitching lights out and c) the Padres, who were down to their last strike, came back to beat the Giants and the Rockies earned a come-from-behind victory against the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks therefore failed to lower their magic number; it remains 4.
With the Rockies so hot, the Diamondbacks cannot afford to lose either of the next two games in Pittsburgh before they close out the season in Colorado.