The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 11, 2013

D-backs roll past Bucs, 10-2

PHOENIX — Since his days at Notre Dame ended and he turned pro, A.J. Pollock had rarely hit a home run and never two in a game.

He was a slugger on Wednesday, though, knocking two over the left-field wall off Jonathan Sanchez to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 10-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pollock began the day in an 0-for-14 rut. He also made a diving catch in center field to rob Andrew McCutchen in the first inning as the Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series after dropping the first two.

Wade Miley (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Sanchez (0-2) was charged with nine runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. The last two of those runs came after Sanchez left and reliever Chris Leroux walked two batters, on four pitches each, with the bases loaded in the Diamondbacks’ four-run fourth.

Pollock, a long shot to make the opening day roster before spring training injuries to Adam Eaton and Cody Ross, hit a three-run homer in the second and a leadoff shot in the fourth. He had two home runs in 81 big league at-bats last season and only 14 in three seasons in the minors.

But, manager Kirk Gibson said, Pollock has some power, especially against left-handers.

“You get the ball up like that on him and he has the ability to hit it out of the ballpark,” Gibson said.

Pollock said he has more pop in his bat than people think.

“ For me, hitting home runs is not about power,” he said. “It’s about hitting the ball correctly and your approach at the plate. It’s 340 feet down the line. It’s not like you need to hit it 600 feet to hit it out. It’s more about getting the right pitch and taking the right swing in the right count.”

Pollock was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He was 3 for 17 (.176) entering the game and hadn’t gotten a hit since opening day.

“Just a hunch I had,” Gibson said.

It made the manager look like a genius. Pollock doubled down the left-field line with one out in the first, then took off trying to steal third while Sanchez still had the ball. Instead of what should have been an easy out, Sanchez threw wildly to third and Pollock scored.

It set the stage for what was to follow.

“You make a baseball play in the first inning, I don’t know how (the game) turns out,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It has a chance to be different, though. We make a throw to third, we get the out there, who knows?”

Sanchez was nowhere near as effective as he was in his first start, when he allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We have 30 starts out of the year,” he said. “We’re going to have bad outings and we’re going to have good outings. You’ve just got to focus on the next one.”

Martin Prado followed Sanchez’s error with a walk, advanced to third on Paul Goldschmidt’s single and scored when Miguel Montero grounded out. Alfredo Marte brought home the inning’s third run with a two-out double.

In the second, there was more trouble for Sanchez. Josh Wilson reached on a walk and Gerardo Parra singled before Pollock homered into the left-field seats to make it 6-0.

Miley, runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season, had his second strong outing in as many tries.

“I was getting ahead of guys early,” he said. “I went to the slider a couple of times. Mainly it’s about getting ahead and controlling at-bats. They were putting the ball in play, and the defense was making plays.”

Miley retired 10 in a row after Starling Marte opened the game with a double. The string ended when McCutchen walked with one out in the fourth. Gaby Sanchez singled and Josh Harrison had an RBI single.

Pollock’s second homer made it 7-1. Sanchez walked Goldschmidt and gave up a one-out single to Montero before getting pulled by Hurdle.

Leroux came on and promptly walked three straight. Another run scored on Miley’s groundout and Arizona led 10-1 through four innings.

NOTES: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill got a day off after being hit in the left hand by a pitch Tuesday night. X-rays were negative and he hopes to return Friday night. ... The Pirates, 2-4 on their road trip, return home to open a weekend series against Cincinnati on Friday. Arizona has Thursday off, then begins a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. ... Starling Marte had a hit to lead off all three games against Arizona.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

  • Speedy Shazier making quick impression

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end. Others focused on his blazing speed and saw a safety.
    Not Shazier.

    July 31, 2014

  • Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tourney opener

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings