De La Rosa improves, but takes loss vs. Giants

D-backs starter allows four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings

De La Rosa improves, but takes loss vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the D-backs decided to keep Rubby De La Rosa on the Opening Day roster, they said he had done all the learning he could at the Minor League level and whatever was left to be done would have to happen in the big leagues.

Saturday night against the Giants, that learning process continued as De La Rosa and D-backs fell, 4-1, at AT&T Park.

De La Rosa (2-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings.

"He just left too many pitches up," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Once he started pitching down, he had some success. He battled. He gave up four runs -- tonight it wasn't good enough, but he's getting better each time out. It's improvement."

De La Rosa was in trouble from the outset as Nori Aoki led off the bottom of the first with a double to left and scored when Joe Panik followed with a single.

Panik's RBI single

"They came out hot out of the gates," Arizona catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said. "They were ready to go right from the first pitch. It might have surprised us in the first inning, but after that, I thought he settled down."

De La Rosa gave up a run in the third on a broken-bat single by Buster Posey and two more in the fourth on a homer by Brandon Crawford.

Crawford's two-run homer

After that, he seemed to find his rhythm and did not allow a run the rest of the way.

"Just tried to make good pitches and tried to get them thinking a different way so they couldn't just look for one pitch," De La Rosa said. "I tried to mix it up."

De La Rosa is not the only Arizona pitcher to have problems getting Crawford out.

The Giants shortstop is off to a slow start, hitting just .163, but all seven of his hits this year, including three homers, have come against the D-backs.

"He kills us," Gosewisch said. "For us, he's a tough out for sure."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.