D-backs squander chances vs. Giants

D-backs squander chances vs. Giants

D-backs squander chances vs. Giants
SAN FRANCISCO -- You can pick apart the D-backs' 3-1 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night in a lot of different ways.

Arizona manager Kirk Gibson kept it simple.

"We had opportunities and we didn't get them in," he said.

The D-backs had plenty of chances against Ryan Vogelsong, but they left nine men on, including the bases loaded twice, and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Why could they not get that big hit?

"You have to ask these guys," Gibson said, referring to his players. "I'm not at the plate. I don't have any answers for you as to why we didn't hit the ball out of the infield. We had a chance to probably take control of that game and were unable to do so."

The game began for the D-backs better than it ended.

Arizona struck first with one out in the second when Chris Young drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.

One out later, Josh Bell singled up the middle to score Young and give the D-backs a 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile Joe Saunders was cruising along. The left-hander held the Giants hitless until Melky Cabrera grounded a single to left with one out in the fourth.

Saunders, though, was able to pitch out of a jam in that inning without the Giants scoring.

"I felt like I had some big outs when I needed to and the defense played well behind me," Saunders said. "It was just one of those games where you just couldn't buy that big hit, and that happens, so we're just going to have to turn the page and do a better job collectively tomorrow."

Though the D-backs were ahead, there were warning signs of trouble as they missed opportunities to extend their lead.

Vogelsong pitched out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the fourth and he did it again in the sixth.

"I just tried to hit Buster [Posey's] glove as many times as I could and hope that something good would happen," Vogelsong said. "I was pretty fortunate to get out of two. I get out of one most times, but to be able to get out of two, I feel pretty lucky, pretty fortunate."

While the D-backs failed to capitalize on the bases-loaded chance in the top of the sixth, the Giants found a way to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Cabrera, who has been on a tear all month setting a San Francisco Giants record with 50 hits in May, managed to get three ground-ball hits on the night. He reached on an infield nubber up the third-base line with one out in the sixth and came around to score the tying run when Posey followed with a double to the gap in left.

"All you can do is make a pitch and when a guy is going like that ,you just have to minimize the damage because otherwise you're going to walk him, and you don't want to do that," Saunders said of Cabrera. "I don't know the words to explain it. He's in a different dimension right now, so just keep making your pitches and hope he hits it at somebody."

Posey drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth when his sacrifice fly scored Ryan Theriot.

"He had three ground-ball hits tonight; I mean, the guy's on fire," Gibson said of Cabrera. "He hits one off the end of the bat and starts everything. Cabrera had three ground-ball hits and he scores two runs. Posey did a heck of a job behind him with two RBIs. He got him in. You have to tip your hat to them; they out-executed us in that aspect of the game."

Gibson was asked if the inability to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities early on put more pressure on his team as the game went along.

"I think it's a baseball game and you're in here to play with pressure and we didn't handle it very well tonight," Gibson said. "OK? You go talk to those guys."

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.