PHOENIX - With their opening week spent facing the two teams expected to finish at the bottom of the National League West, the Giants were teed up to get off to a big start. Things aren't going as planned.
Once again, the Giants jumped ahead and watched as the Diamondbacks crashed the gates. The Diamondbacks scored seven unanswered runs for the second straight night, wiping away a pair of deficits and handing the Giants a 9-3 loss on the final night of a nearly two-month stretch in Arizona. The Giants opened their season by dropping three of four.
It's hard to make much sense of the night Jeff Samardzija had. He struck out five in the first two innings, but David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back bombs in the fourth, tying a game the Giants led because of a solo homer by Aaron Hill and a Brandon Crawford single that knocked Brandon Belt in.
The Giants jumped back ahead in the sixth, but left the bases loaded when Chris Marrero flied out. Samardzija had struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth, getting to nine on the day, but he opened the sixth by walking Peralta. After a Goldschmidt single, Jake Lamb hit a 419-foot blast to right-center.
The Diamondbacks pulled away with a three-run rally off Ty Blach in the eighth that was pushed along by iffy defense in left by Hill, who was playing out of position.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija gave up 17 homers in 18 road starts last season. Thursday fit right in.
Bullpen report: Hunter Strickland got five outs. He's expected to leave the team sometime this weekend for the birth of his first child.
At the plate: The left field platoon is 0-for-15 so far. It's worth nothing that Hill saw late-innings time in left for the second consecutive night.
In the field: We're expanding the definition of "In The Field" to include a new guy who stands on the field. Phil Nevin is off to a good start as third base coach. He showed no hesitation in sending Belt on Crawford's hard single to left in the fourth. At first glance it looked like Belt would be hosed, but Chris Herrmann made an awful throw. Scouting reports, man.
Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 15,308 human beings for a game that should have been played at 1 p.m.
Up next: Matt Cain won the fifth starter battle. He gets his first crack at locking himself into the spot Friday against the Padres. (Also, Alex Pavlovic gets Petco Park nachos for the first time.)