When a 66-minute rain delay ended Pedro Martinez's home debut -- in favor of Jamie Moyer, who had the National League's highest ERA when he lost his rotation spot last week -- after three innings, things looked even better.
But Arizona mustered just two hits in six innings against the 46-year-old veteran, making his second relief appearance since 1996. Jon Garland battled through the storms but was hurt by a three-run third and two solo home runs as the D-backs lost to the Phillies, 5-1, on a soggy Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
"He's been doing it for 20 years," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said of Moyer. "He kind of feeds off that adrenaline and often times throws a first pitch just off the zone in order to either get the hitters to swing out of the zone or set up hitters' counts in which he can add and subtract and disrupt timing. ... Certainly six shutout innings out of the bullpen in his new role is frustrating."
Arizona has lost five straight on the road, which could be a problem as it continues a 10-game, four-city swing. Monday's pit stop in Atlanta for a makeup game made an already rough cross-country trip even more draining.
"It's tough," third baseman Mark Reynolds said. "Sleeping in hotels and flights and just you're out of your routine a lot. But every team in the big leagues does it. We're not different."
Garland incurred the most damage in the third. He stayed loose during the delay by moving around and by throwing a simulated inning of 15-20 pitches in the cage. Had the heavy precipitation lasted any longer, Hinch said, Garland would have been lifted.
The 29-year-old righty said that neither the rains -- which picked up again in the fourth -- nor the hour-long break affected him. After all, he said that in Chicago, his former home city, it "seemed like it happened every other day sometimes."
Instead, imperfect defense was the culprit. The D-backs entered play with the NL's second-worst fielding percentage.
With two outs in the third, Jayson Werth hit a sinking liner toward Roberts, who was making a rare start in left and who said earlier Tuesday that he wanted to make a Web Gem-worthy play. On this diving attempt, though, he missed badly. The ball bounced just in front of Roberts' outstretched body and rolled past him, giving Werth an RBI double.
"It's just one of those things, I had a read on it or else I wouldn't have dove," Roberts said. "If I didn't think I coulda caught it, then I wouldn't have even attempted it. But I was thinking 'Catch it' the whole time in my mind off the bat.
"I'm not trying to be a hero or nothing, but I thought I could get it."
Next up was Raul Ibanez, who entered Tuesday hitting just .220 since July 20, but .355 (22-for-62) in his career against Garland. So Arizona opted to intentionally walk him and have Garland face Pedro Feliz.
But Feliz snuck a single through the left side, scoring Werth. Roberts' throw sailed over everybody -- the cutoff man, catcher and Garland backing up -- allowing both runners to move up. Carlos Ruiz took advantage of the situation with a single to right, which plated one and would have scored another if not for a great throw to the plate by Alex Romero.
"That highlights the whole thing, that's what got it all started," Roberts said of the unsuccessful dive. "I'm not trying to make any excuses, but the ball gets away from you a little bit being wet and I end up sailing one, and just all-around bad defense by me that inning. I take full responsibility for a few runs scoring right there, and that's just how it goes sometimes."
Added Hinch: "Those little minor mistakes became major ones that cost us some extra outs and extra runs."
Werth and Ruiz both homered later off Garland, who allowed five earned runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The top of the fourth, too, was emblematic of the D-backs' evening. Right after Garland's laborious 23-pitch inning, Moyer retired Arizona on just six pitches. Roberts led off with a single; it took the three batters that followed just four pitches to make three groundouts.
Moyer, not known for his efficiency, tossed just 69 pitches over six innings. He issued no walks for just the fourth time this year. Martinez threw 38, meaning that the D-backs saw just 107 on the night. They also struck out eight times.
Reynolds offered a laconic summation of the offensive futility: "[We were] impatient, swinging at his pitches, just getting ourselves out."
David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.