Bradley looks to improve with 2 outs

After combining for 19 K's in previous 2 starts, righty struggles vs. Rays

Bradley looks to improve with 2 outs

PHOENIX -- Archie Bradley thought he had things rolling in the second inning Wednesday when he struck out the Rays in order, but that proved to be one of the few innings where the D-backs' right-hander didn't feel like he was fighting an uphill battle.

Bradley wound up allowing four runs and lasted just 5 2/3 innings as the D-backs fell to the Rays, 6-3, at Chase Field.

"He didn't have his best stuff today, for sure," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Bradley. "He battled and gave us a chance to win."

It was quite a contrast from his previous two outings, when Bradley was at the top of his game in striking out a combined 19 batters.

"I just didn't feel like the ball was coming out as good as it has been the last couple of starts," Bradley said. "When I wanted to go down and away, it was more up and away, and when I wanted to go in, it was way up. I just couldn't really find where I wanted to be. Really until that sixth inning, I feel like I did a pretty good job of keeping us in the game. I just couldn't finish it up."

In his previous two starts, Bradley was able to throw his curveball for strikes when he wanted to, but he was inconsistent with the pitch Wednesday.

Aside from improving that for his next start, Bradley will also spend time with pitching coach Mike Butcher to determine why he had such trouble getting the third out of innings. Three of the four runs against him came with two outs.

In the third, Bradley retired the first two hitters and then allowed a walk and back-to-back singles that scored one run.

Longoria's run-scoring single

Then in the sixth, he also retired the first two before allowing a homer to Desmond Jennings, a triple to Tim Beckham and a walk to Curt Casali.

Jennings' solo smash

"That was really, really frustrating for me," Bradley said of the sixth. "I wanted to be aggressive to Jennings and go get him because I got two quick outs, and the fastball just came back over the middle, and he's seeing the ball really well right now."

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.