D-backs starter retires 9 of 10 after 3-run first vs. Dodgers
By Jarrid Denney
PHOENIX -- Anthony Banda fought his way back into Thursday night's game after a rocky first inning, but he lasted just four innings on 69 pitches in the D-backs' eventual 8-6 loss to the Dodgers.
Banda need 36 pitches to get out of a first inning in which the Dodgers racked up a 3-0 lead and sent eight batters to the plate. Enrique Hernandez cleared the bases with a double with two outs before Banda escaped the inning.
"He's got good stuff," Arizona catcher Chris Iannetta said of Banda. "I think he's shown that his first few times out. I think, ultimately, he was just in the zone and just kind of missing around the edges a lot and just falling behind in counts and that was probably the difference in that inning."
But Banda settled and retired nine of the next 10 batters he faced. The left-hander struck out four batters over that span, and the lone Dodgers batter to reach base after the first inning was Corey Seager on a single to right.
"It was just the process of trusting my stuff and trying to stay consistent down in the zone," Banda said. "The confidence is there. Just a little adjustment here and there, and the mindset of all the things, I was just able to bounce back and start throwing up zeros."
Banda needed just 33 pitches to get through the second, third and fourth innings combined, but manager Torey Lovullo elected to pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the fourth, sending Brandon Drury to the plate with two outs and runners on first and second.
Drury ultimately struck out on three pitches, and reliever Jake Barrett took over in the fifth and gave up a home run to Chris Taylor in a three-run Dodgers frame.
"I thought the numbers were showing a little better tendency for Brandon to get up there and have a quality at-bat," Lovullo said. "And just a couple of internal things that I really believed in that led me to that, and unfortunately it didn't work out. I know the right-on-right matchup is not the typical one that you're looking for, but I thought Brandon would get up there and fight off some pitches and have a quality at-bat and unfortunately it didn't happen. Or get a good look at some pitches and have a quality at-bat and unfortunately it didn't happen."
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.