Diamondbacks fall short at home to PiratesPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX (AP) Arizona ace Ian Kennedy labored through his worst start of the season, giving up as many earned runs as he had the previous two starts.
That wasn't even the worst news for the Diamondbacks.
Playing without right fielder Justin Upton due to a sore left thumb, Arizona lost center fielder Chris Young to a right shoulder injury after a hard crash into the wall in the fourth inning of the Diamondbacks 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night.
"I didn't think I was going to hit the wall," Young said. "As I was going down, I hit my shoulder. It got tight on me. It is a little tighter now - I can't lift it."
Upton has been bothered by a left thumb injury since jamming it into a base against the Giants on April 8. He played Monday against the Pirates, but was out of the lineup for the second game of the series after having his thumb drained.
The Diamondbacks also lost utility Geoff Blum, who will go on the disabled list after straining a muscle in his side during batting practice. He will be replaced on the roster by A.J. Pollock, a 2009 first-round draft pick who will be called up from Triple-A Reno.
The big blow could be Young.
The Diamondbacks' leading hitter at .405 with five homers and 13 RBIs, he was injured while tracking down a fly ball by Pedro Alvarez in left-center in the fourth.
Young leaped to catch the ball and slammed into the wall shoulder-first, falling in a heap onto the warning track. He lay there for several minutes as team medical personnel attended to him and gingerly walked to the dugout after being helped up. The team said Young will have an MRI on Wednesday.
"It all happened very quickly for us," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We will have contingency plans available, the best we can do. We are in a holding pattern with some of the guys. We are going to have to play short and some of the guys will have to step up."
With one win in seven road games and three on the season overall, the Pirates were facing stiff odds against the Diamondbacks and Kennedy.
They went into the game without closer Joel Hanrahan after he tweaked his hamstring the last time out. Starter Jeff Karstens was gone after one inning due to right shoulder inflammation.
Pittsburgh didn't buckle, though, roughing up Kennedy early, scoring four of its runs with two outs and getting eight solid, pieced-together innings from the bullpen.
Garrett Jones hit a solo homer off Kennedy in the sixth inning and drove in three runs. Andrew McCutchen had the final of Pittsburgh's two-out hits, lining a run-scoring single off Bryan Shaw (0-2) in the ninth inning for his fourth hit of the night.
Jason Grilli (1-1) gave up a solo homer to John McDonald in the eighth inning, but picked up the win. Juan Cruz, Pittsburgh's sixth pitcher of the night, picked up his first save since 2009 by working a perfect ninth.
"Just duct tape, chicken wire and scrapped for eight innings and get it done," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Kennedy was expected to have an easy night against the light-hitting Pirates.
A 21-game winner who finished fourth in the 2011 NL Cy Young voting, the right-hander entered the game with an eight-game winning streak that dated to last year, including his first two starts this season.
The Pirates came in as baseball's worst-hitting team at .188 and trotted out a lineup that had six players under .200.
Of course they got to Kennedy early.
McCutchen got it started with a two-out single in the first inning and came in two batters later, when Jones lined a run-scoring single to left-center.
Kennedy continued to scuffle after that.
Pittsburgh put together another two-out rally in the third inning against him, tying it at 3-all on Neil Walker's run-scoring single and an RBI double by Jones.
Jones gave the Pirates the lead in the sixth, hitting Kennedy's first pitch out to the pool deck in right-center.
Kennedy didn't come out for the seventh after allowing four runs on eight hits.
"All my command, off-speed was terrible, changeup was terrible, pretty much one of those days," said Kennedy, who had allowed four earned runs his first two starts combined. "You know in the first inning that it is pretty much going to be a long day."