Rough stretch continues for D-backs

Team has dropped five of six after strong start to season

Rough stretch continues for D-backs

PHOENIX -- This is somewhat uncharted territory for this year's Arizona Diamondbacks.

After watching things go mostly right during the season's first month, they've hit a tough stretch, losing five of their last six, the latest being a 7-3 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

"We've got to move on," manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was a tough day, tough situation and we're in the grind right now, and we've got to figure out a way."

Starter Robbie Ray, who was dominant in his previous start against the Nationals, struggled with his command and walked five, two of which resulted in runs.

"I just walked too many guys," Ray said. "This is a lineup you can't do that with. They make you pay for it. I walked the leadoff guy twice, and he scored. Just can't do that."

Ray strikes out Upton

Ray's outing may have looked different had Mikie Mahtook's line drive in the fifth inning been hit at a defender, rather than going into center for a two-run single that gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

"I left a curveball up, and just threw him a really good one earlier," Ray said. "So it's probably the pitch he's looking for, and I just didn't execute."

The Tigers took advantage in key situations, going 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

"I thought Robbie was a little inconsistent," Lovullo said. "Wasn't one of his best outings. He was spraying his fastball around the zone. I think they were waiting him out. Some good hitters in the right situation with men on. To control this team, you've got to keep the guys off base ahead of their three and four hitters, and we didn't do that tonight."

The D-backs' offense is still slumping. After scoring just three runs over the final two games of their recent series at Coors Field, it was thought a return to Chase Field would warm the bats.

Instead, the D-backs went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, as Tigers starter Justin Verlander worked out of jams.

"Little bit of a frustrating night offensively," Lovullo said. "I felt like we had some opportunities to impact the game, but just couldn't take advantage of some key moments and some key situations. You've got to give Verlander some credit. I know he's been in that situation many times, and he didn't back down and he made pitches when he had to."

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