Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez walks to the dugout after striking out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning to end the baseball game.
By Bill Brink Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PHOENIX -- Jonathan Sanchez gave the Pirates the second poor start to a game on Wednesday and the Arizona Diamondbacks hit him hard in a 10-2 loss at Chase Field today.
Sanchez allowed nine runs on eight hits in 31/3 innings. He walked four batters, hit a batter and allowed two home runs, both of them to A.J. Pollock. He threw 93 pitches, 55 strikes, without making it out of the fourth inning.
Sanchez's outing was a drastic departure from his first start, when he three runs in five-plus innings and walked only one against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The outing also came in conjunction with the uncertainty surrounding the Pirates' rotation, which will need at least one spot start in place of the injured Wandy Rodriguez.
The Diamondbacks twice sent nine men to the plate in an inning and made hard contact. Poor control, first from Sanchez and later from Chris Leroux, aided the Diamondbacks' lineup.
For the second consecutive game, the Pirates' starter put the team in a hole in the first inning. Pollock doubled with one out. Sanchez had Pollock picked off second base, caught between second and third, but threw the ball away, allowing Pollock to score.
Sanchez walked Martin Prado and Paul Goldschmidt singled to put men on first and third. Goldschmidt ran for second on a pitch to Miguel Montero to avoid a double-play ball, and it worked perfectly: Montero grounded out to second, but Prado scored and the inning continued.
Alfredo Marte doubled, the third hard-hit ball of the inning off Sanchez, and extended the Diamondbacks' lead to 3-0. Sanchez threw 30 pitches, 19 of them strikes, in the first inning.
Josh Wilson walked to lead off the second and Gerardo Parra singled before A.J. Pollock hit his first home run of the season on a 2-1 fastball, giving the Diamondbacks a 6-3 lead.
Sanchez threw 71 pitches in the first two innings, but returned for the third to save the bullpen. Jeanmar Gomez and Justin Wilson pitched extended outings on Monday, and Jason Grilli was not available after pitching three days in a row.
Andrew McCutchen walked in the fourth and later scored on Josh Harrison's single, cutting the Diamondbacks' lead to 6-1.
Pollock hit his second home run in the fourth, and another walk and a single drove Sanchez from the game. Chris Leroux relieved him and walked the first three batters he faced, the final two of which forced in runs. He threw seven of 21 pitches for strikes in the inning.