Diamondbacks pitcher Joe Saunders throw a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during a spring game at Chase Field. Saunders did not figure in Wednesday's decision despite throwing seven shutout innings agains the San Diego Padres. (Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE)

Arizona Suffers First Loss

The Arizona Diamondbacks had their chances to win Game 2 against the Padres and move to 5-0 on the season, but it was not meant to be.  The D-backs stranded 11 base runners during the course of the game and San Diego outfielder Chris Denorfia hit a two-run homer of set-up man David Hernandez in the eighth inning to put the Padres up for good.

The Diamondbacks wasted a gem of an effort from pitcher Joe Saunders, who was making his regular season debut.  Saunders threw seven innings of shutout baseball, allowing just four hits, walking two and striking out four.  Again the Diamondbacks started strong, scoring the lone run of the game in the first inning after Padre starter Cory Luebke walked in a run after walking the bases loaded.

Willie Bloomquist was the lone bright spot for the team, going two for four with a run scored and a walk.  Bloomquist is hitting a stellar .389 on the season in place of the injured Stephen Drew.  This is overshadowed by the starting slump star Justin Upton in stuck in.  Upton so far this season is hitting an underwhelming .167 to start the season, with a .450 OBP and a .250 slugging percentage.

Some of it has to be due to the injury Upton sustained in the last game of the Giants series, the injury which kept him from starting the first game against the Padres.  One thing is for sure, the Diamondbacks success is directly tied to Upton’s success.  Do not be fooled by the early season success, because if Upton is unable to perform at the level the team is expecting him to, the whole lineup will suffer.

The Diamondbacks will need him to find his stroke, granted they have a little time with the early success of Bloomquist and Chris Young, but Upton will have to get things going to put this team in a position to defend its National League West title.

UP NEXT: The Diamondbacks finish off the series in San Diego by sending ace Ian Kennedy to the mound to face the Padres Anthony Bass to try and win the series.  First pitch is at 10:05 pm EST.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Chris Denorfia Cory Luebke David Hernandez Joe Saunders Justin Upton San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Stephen Drew Willie Bloomquist

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