SAN DIEGO Chris Young has committed larceny at Petco Park before.
Ask Mike Cameron, who saw a grand slam disappear into Young's glove in 2007. YouTube it, for the catch of Young's career.
But try as Young might, he could not quite reach Chris Denorfia's two-run home run in the last of the eighth inning Wednesday, when San Diego handed the Diamondbacks their first loss of the season, 2-1, at Petco Park.
The ball and Young's glove ended on the other side of the center field fence the ball actually nicked the glove beyond the wall after Denorfia lined a 2-1 fastball from David Hernandez to dead center. Hernandez was playing the park, knowing how tough is it to drive a ball out.
Young had visions of the Cameron play, and of the one in Colorado last season, when he took a home run away from Ty Wigginton at Coors Field on May 25.
"I kind of saw it happening when I was going back to it. In my mind, I'm like I may have a chance to rob this one.' I knew it was going to be a homer off the bat. It was just can you get to the wall in time to have a chance. I got to the wall in time. I think I needed about two more feet. Just out of reach," Young said.
"When I am running back and I know I have a chance to get to it, I loosen my glove up off my hand a little bit. Kind of give me a little more length on it. If I go up and don't get it, the glove is gingo to come off. I was just trying to make a play. David pitches his butt off for us all the time. Every now and then you have to try to find a way to pick them up. That's what I was hoping for."
Hernandez, pitching for the fourth time in six days, walked Cameron Maybin on a 3-2 pitch with one out before facing Denorfia. Hernandez broke Denorfia's bat in a pinch-hit appearance Tuesday, although the ball floated into short center field for a single.
"To be honest, I didn't think the ball was going to go that far," Hernandez said. "I was pitching him away. It was a little elevated. I can't expect him to rob a home run to save me."
"He was looking dead red, and he put a good swing on it. I feel like he just rakes against us, a broken bat single, a home run" Montero said.
The D-backs (4-1) were the last undefeated team in baseball after Detroit lost to Tampa Bay several hours before the D-backs' game started.
"I think everybody's all right, though. We didn't expect to win 162 games, even though we would have liked to. We need to win the series," Young said.
After using five relievers in an 11-inning victory Tuesday, the D-backs needed a strong outing from Joe Saunders, and he delivered.
Saunders gave up four hits, all singles, and two walks in seven scoreless innings. San Diego got only two runners on base once against Saunders, when Chase Headley singled with one out in the fourth and Saunders pitched around Nick Hundley to walk him with two outs. Saunders got Kyle Blanks on a harmless fly to right to end the inning.
"I was just trying to throw up zeros and give the bullpen a little bit of a break," Saunders said. "You always want to go as deep as you can, anyway, but especially when the bullpen has been used a lot, especially early on, because (starting pitchers) are only going to five or six innings. If you can give them a little break, you give them a little break."
Saunders did it after tweaking a left calf muscle in the third inning.
"It was a little bit of a cramp that started out in the calf. No big deal. Just kind of a nuisance," Saunders said.
Saunders nursed a 1-0 lead all the way through, after the D-backs scored in the top of the first inning despite putting only one of Corey Luebke's 43 pitches into play. The key number was 43.
Luebke walked four of the first six batters he faced Willie Bloomquist on a 3-2 pitch, Justin Upton on a 3-2 pitch in an eight-pitch at-bat, Chris Young on four pitches and Jason Kubel on a 3-2 pitch. Kubel had his first D-back RBI on his walk. Luebke struck out Miguel Montero with runners on first and third and Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The D-backs, who hit well in high leverage situations the first four games of the season, struggled in those situations. They left 11 runners on base, leaving runners first and second in third and sixth innings and the bases loaded in the seventh, when Upton and Young walked again. Luebke gave up four hits in 5 13 innings, and the D-backs had only two hits after the third.
"How many guys did we leave on base today? The first inning, we should have got more than one run. We should have got at least two runs," Miguel Montero said.
"We put ourselves in position where we could have blown any of those innings open. We just didn't get the big hit. It's go to happen. Joe-Joe pitched an amazing game, and we stayed close. You can't put it all on that last inning. We gave ourselves a lot of opportunities to come through, and we just didn't today," Young said.
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