Collmenter strong, but D-backs shut out

Starter hurls six scoreless innings; bullpen allows four-run frame

Collmenter strong, but D-backs shut out

SAN FRANCISCO -- For six innings, the D-backs battled the Giants to a draw, but the seventh, and in turn the game, belonged to the Giants.

The Giants scored four runs in the seventh to beat the D-backs, 5-0, on a chilly Wednesday night at AT&T Park.

"They're playing well," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of the Giants. "They got some breaks. They play hard. They keep pressing the issue, and we didn't respond."

The loss was the fifth in a row for the D-backs, who have dropped seven of nine games on their current road trip, which wraps up Thursday afternoon.

Offense was scarce early in the game as Josh Collmenter and Ryan Vogelsong locked up in a pitchers' duel.

The D-backs didn't take advantage of some early wildness by Vogelsong.

After issuing a walk to lead off the game, Vogelsong once again struggled with his command in the second inning as the D-backs managed to put runners on first and second with one out.

Vogelsong got Alfredo Marte to fly to right for the second out but then walked Didi Gregorius to load the bases, prompting manager Bruce Bochy to send Tim Lincecum down to the bullpen to warm up.

Vogelson rebounded to strike out Collmenter and went on cruise control, allowing just one more hit before being removed in the seventh.

"We had some chances early," Gibson said. "We have not swung the bats well at all."

Take nothing away from Vogelsong, but shutting down the Arizona offense has not been a rare feat of late.

In the first nine games of this road trip, the D-backs have hit .195 with one home run. They've scored 19 runs, and 11 of those came in their two wins of the trip, meaning that they've had a total of eight in the seven losses.

"We've had a few opportunities to score runs and we've had trouble in those situations," D-backs outfielder Ender Inciarte said. "We have to make an adjustment, all of us, and try to figure out what's going on, so we can change that and hopefully get at least a couple more runs, because the pitchers have been doing good lately."

The Giants took control of the game in the bottom half of the seventh against the Arizona bullpen. Gregor Blanco drove home the game's first run with a double down the right-field line, and pinch-hitter Matt Duffy doubled home one as well.

Collmenter allowed just three hits and a pair of walks in six shutout innings, while Vogelsong gave up two hits in 6 2/3.

"Give credit to Collmenter," Blanco said. "He was good today [with] that changeup and he was locating the fastball."

Following the game, the D-backs' pitchers had a meeting with Gibson and pitching coach Mike Harkey in the batting tunnel located behind the visitor's dugout.

"Just to make sure that we take everything that we can this last month and use it as momentum to go into the offseason going into next Spring Training and stuff," Collmenter said in explaining what the meeting was about. "Obviously this season didn't accomplish a lot of the goals we set out before the year, but we can still take a lot from this, especially the young guys."

The D-backs hope to finish strong over the final stretch.

"Don't get too frustrated," Gibson said of the message to the pitchers. "I know it's hard. It was good just kind of reaffirming what we have to do in the last [17] games."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for 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.