It was a pitching matchup of starters who had ERA’s hovering around 5.00, Ian Kennedy for the Arizona Diamondbacks against Roberto Hernandez of the Tampa Bay Rays. For D-Back fans, it was just the same old story, just in a new venue in a new league. Arizona went down with barely a whimper as Tampa prevailed 5-2 in the opener of a two game series in Tampa.
Eric Chavez’s two-run home run was the only bright spot in the D-Backs’ 5-2 loss to the Rays. Image: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The game did start out that way. Gerardo Parra led off the game by getting plunked and advanced to second on a single by Aaron Hill. As has been the case all season, the D’backs did not take advantage as Paul Goldschmidt hit into a double play followed by Eric Chavez grounding out to end the first with no runs after getting the first two batters on base. After that, Hernandez turned in his most dominant performance of the season, going all the way on a five-hitter, his first complete game since 2010. Chavez’s two run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning prevented the D-Backs from getting shut out for the second straight game. It is worth noting that Hernandez was by far the weak link in the Ray rotation, entering the game with a 5-11 record and a 4.92 ERA.
As for Kennedy, it was the same script, just a different team. The Rays scored two runs off him in the first inning as Desmond Jennings led off with a double and scored on a single by Ben Zobrist. James Loney then boomed a double off the wall in right-center field scoring Evan Longoria. Yunel Escobar hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to increase the Tampa advantage to 3-0. Kennedy was done after five innings giving up three runs on six hits, walking three and striking out seven. Will Harris and Chaz Roe surrendered single runs in the sixth and eighth innings respectively.