PHOENIX The Giants are discovering a major flaw in their new, speed-oriented offense: You cant run with reckless abandon when youre always playing from behind.
Madison Bumgarner gave up two home runs to Aaron Hill as the Arizona Diamondbacks took a 4-0 lead after two innings, and despite a few deep drives by Pablo Sandoval and Brett Pill, the Giants were unable to complete their rally in a 5-4 loss at Chase Field on Saturday.
Starting pitching report
Bumgarner allowed just two home runs in his first 13 starts last season. He gave up that many in his first two innings of 2012.
Hill hit a solo shot in the first inning and followed with a two-run homer in the second. Chris Young also hit an RBI double in the first inning as Bumgarner put the Giants in a 4-0 hole. Bumgarner allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out three before he was lifted for a pinch hitter after just four innings. He threw just 50 of 80 pitches for strikes.
It was a jarring start for Bumgarner, especially considering he was the Giants sharpest pitcher this spring while posting a 2.01 ERA. Bumgarner lost for the first time in seven career appearances against the Diamondbacks; he had been 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA against them.
Dan Otero made his major league debut and started off with an impressive three-pitch strikeout of Justin Upton. But Miguel Montero and Chris Young strung together hits to plate a run. Otero issued an intentional walk before escaping the fifth without further damage, then threw a scoreless sixth.
At the plate
The Giants mad-dash offense didnt produce much against Daniel Hudson, who was Arizonas most impressive pitcher this spring. Then again, theres nothing like an early deficit to slow down a running game.
At least the Giants have been able to generate a little power. Sandoval hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning off Hudson; pinch hitter Pill knocked Hudson from the game with a two-run shot in the seventh.
Pills homer came in his first at-bat of the season. If youll recall, Pill homered in his first major league at-bat last season.
In the field
Crawford made several impressive plays on a hard-baked infield, including a tough, between-hops catch to start a double play in the sixth inning.
The crowd of 34,789 was good by Arizonas standards, but a far cry from their sellout on opening day.
The teams complete the series Sunday as the Diamondbacks look to sweep the Giants at Chase Field just as they did while clinching the NL West title last September. Matt Cain, the Giants newest 100 million man, takes the mound against Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter.