In Pittsburgh, D-backs lose tempers, then game

In Pittsburgh, D-backs lose tempers, then game

In Pittsburgh, D-backs lose tempers, then game
PITTSBURGH -- The D-backs lost a game and their tempers on Wednesday night.

Outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton were both ejected as the Pirates dealt the D-backs a 7-6 setback at PNC Park.

And then there was Ian Kennedy, whose struggles snapped a string of good starts and led him to be every bit as frustrated.

The D-backs have lost four of their last five games and are 5-4 on the 10-game road trip that concludes on Thursday afternoon. The loss, combined with the Giants' win over the Cardinals, increased the third-place D-backs' deficit in the National League West to five games.

"I just didn't execute at all tonight," Kennedy said. "It's frustrating. We're trying to go for this NL West race, and to pitch like that was not acceptable. I can't say how frustrating this is."

Words did not fail Young in the eighth inning, when he gave home-plate umpire Larry Vanover a piece of his mind after being called out on strikes.

Young, not prone to displays of emotion, slammed his bat to the ground and screamed at Vanover, who ejected him. Young then threw his helmet and eventually had to be held back from Vanover by manager Kirk Gibson.

"I think Larry is a really good umpire," Young said. "I've always thought that. But at the moment I didn't agree with what went on in that at-bat. I don't know. I just didn't think it was right. I feel like I've never gotten too amped up on the field. I've never blown up like that. My adrenaline is running. ... I'm sure their adrenaline runs as well in big situations. I just reacted to how I was feeling."

Adding to the emotion of the moment was the fact that the D-backs were on the cusp of tying the score.

The Pirates had committed three errors during the inning, and the D-backs had pushed across a run to cut the gap to two when Young came to the plate with the bases loaded.

Young took three strikes during the at-bat, and while he seemed merely displeased with the first one, he was positively irate about the third, and Gibson -- a former All-American on the football field at Michigan State -- struggled to hold him back.

"I've got a blown-out shoulder and a blown-out knee out of the deal," Gibson said. "Obviously, he was unhappy about it. I've never seen him do that before. But I think he feels better now."

Upton was stranded on second base at the time of the strikeout, and as he went off the field and down the dugout steps, he was ejected by first-base umpire Alfonzo Marquez.

"I was walking off the field, and I didn't really think anybody was paying attention to me, and I had some remarks about the pitch," Upton said. "I didn't say them to anybody, but I had some remarks about the pitch, and I guess either my lips got read because I was being watched or someone heard what I said, and I got tossed."

But he didn't know it right away. He jogged out to right field to start the bottom half of the inning, and crew chief Brian O'Nora had to tell him he'd been ejected.

The D-backs gave Kennedy a two-run lead in the first inning, but he gave it right back and then some in the bottom half, when Neil Walker hit a two-out, three-run homer.

"It was just too much up. It needed to be little further down," Kennedy said. "I just hung it, so obviously it wasn't good."

After the Pirates went up, 4-2, on Starling Marte's homer in the third, the D-backs tied the score in the fifth thanks to one of four errors on the night by the Pirates.

Kennedy, though, was not able to keep things there, and once again Walker was right in the middle of it.

Walker lined a double into the gap in left-center to score a pair of runs to put the Pirates up, 6-4, and end Kennedy's night.

"You've got to make better pitches," Gibson said. "He's trying. They got guys on base, and they got their runners in. We had lots of opportunities the whole game. It was kind of back and forth, and we had our opportunities, and ultimately we didn't cash in right there at the end. It was a pretty intense game."

The D-backs scored a run in the eighth on Willie Bloomquist's RBI single to pull to within a run.

"They played hard until the end tonight," Gibson said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done."

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