Bats stifled until Weeks Jr.'s homer in ninth

Bats stifled until Weeks Jr.'s homer in ninth

ST. LOUIS -- It took the D-backs' offense a while to get cranking, and by the time it did, it proved to be too little too late in a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.

After scoring 11 runs in the series opener on Friday night, the offense was held scoreless for seven innings by right-hander Mike Leake, who used his cutter and sinker to induce ground ball after ground ball.

With his sinker moving into righties and his cutter breaking away from them, it was hard for the hitters to be ready or look for a specific zone. Of the 21 outs that Leake recorded, only four came in the air.

"A lot of movement on the two-seamer and cutter," Welington Castillo said. "[They move] the opposite way. You can't just look for the sinker or he'll throw you the cutter, and then you're going to hit the ball off the end of the bat. He's good at moving the ball around the plate. That's why we were hitting the ground balls."

Castillo hit a ball hard off Leake for a double in the fifth, and Paul Goldschmidt seemed to square one up in the fourth, but his ball was caught by Stephen Piscotty at the wall in right.

Piscotty's fantastic catch

"Leake did a good job," manager Chip Hale said. "Kept the ball down. In and out, elevated every now and again for strikes. You saw all the ground balls we hit. Not a whole lot of real good contact, and the good contact we got -- I thought Goldy had one, Castillo -- it looked like they got it pretty good, but the ball didn't fly for us."

The D-backs managed to finally do some damage in the ninth off St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal, who was working with a 6-0 lead.

Rickie Weeks Jr. hit a two-run homer, and the D-backs managed to load the bases with two outs to bring the potential tying run to the plate in Jean Segura.

Segura, though, struck out swinging to end the game.

"The ninth inning was good," Hale said. "We got after the closer. We got him up into the 30s pitch-wise, and that's good for [Sunday]. Got a little momentum back kind of like they did to us [Friday in the ninth]. So hopefully it will translate into a good start tomorrow, but we've got to be ready to go."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.