One of the slickest-fielding clubs in baseball is booting balls and making errant throws at an alarming pace, and it was paramount in the Diamondbacks' 7-1 loss to the visiting Orioles on Friday night.
Arizona committed three errors in the second inning alone, contributing to four unearned runs, as reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb fell to 7-5 on the year.
The Diamondbacks have now committed 55 errors thus far and have been charged with at least one in five consecutive games. The club record is eight games in a row, which occurred during the 2004 season when Arizona lost 111 games.
"We just had an ugly second inning," manager Bob Melvin said. "The way we kicked it around a little bit, we didn't give (Webb) much of a chance."
Melvin, however, could see this coming. The Diamondbacks' defense hasn't been sharp for a while now, and when the club was in Baltimore last week, on the verge of completing a sweep of the Orioles, he ordered two rounds of mandatory early fielding work.
Apparently, it didn't help. But there probably will be more of it coming.
"It was just one of those nights," Webb said. "Nothing was going right."
ORIOLES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Baltimore won for the third straight game and got a nice assist from the Diamondbacks, who committed three errors during a four-run second inning to drop the first game of a three-game set at home after sweeping the O's at Camden Yards last week.
Third baseman Chad Tracy committed two of the miscues, and starting pitcher Brandon Webb was responsible for the other.
"I rushed the throw on one and tried to make an aggressive play at home and didn't make a good throw there, either," Tracy said. Baltimore scored three more times against Webb, who felt like he may have had his best stuff of the year.
"I feel like I blew a good day of good stuff," Webb said. "When I have seven strikeouts in five innings, I'm really feeling good."
--LHP Randy Johnson threw 42 pitches from flat ground on Friday, and if he feels OK on Saturday, manager Bob Melvin said the left-hander would play catch again before throwing a long-toss session on Sunday.
When the veteran will be activated from the disabled list and when he will make his next start after it was learned he has a herniated disk in the same spot in his lower back remains the burning question. Johnson can be activated on Tuesday at the earliest, but it's now doubtful that will happen on that day.
As for when he pitches again, well, no one is ready to say.
"Do we have a target date? Yes," Melvin said. "Am I going to give it to you? No." Melvin added that Johnson will likely throw a simulated game or a ramped-up bullpen session first.
--OF Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez, top prospects in the Diamondbacks' system, each were selected to play in the Futures Game July 8 in San Francisco during the All-Star weekend. Upton will be on the U.S. team, and the Venezuelan-born Gonzalez will be on the World team.
--RHP Dustin Nippert was recalled from Triple-A Tucson, replacing RHP Enrique Gonzalez, who was sent down two days earlier.
--UTY Augie Ojeda was hit in the shoulder by a line drive during batting practice before Friday's game against Baltimore, but he was not injured.
--RHP Livan Hernandez, who gets the start Saturday against Baltimore, is 0-3 with a 7.43 ERA in his last three starts.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3.79 -- Edgar Gonzalez's ERA as a starter this season. The right-hander has been used in all types of situations on the pitching staff, from starter to long reliever to spot starter.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was one of those plays you see on TV on some kind of blooper show. You hope it never happens to you. I guess it can happen to anybody. Tonight, it was me. You feel a lot worse if you don't end up winning the game." -- Center fielder Chris Young, who deflected a fly ball hit by Baltimore's Melvin Mora with his glove on June 16, knocking it over the fence at Camden Yards for a home run in Arizona's 8-4 win.
LHP Randy Johnson (tightness in buttocks muscle) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 11. He was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back, but he still hopes to return after missing the minimum 15 days.
OF Jeff DaVanon (left ankle, right shoulder surgery) opened the season on the disabled list. He took batting practice June 19 and could be getting close to starting a rehab assignment.
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