The Arizona Diamondbacks experienced another tough loss Wednesday in what has been a difficult season.
Randall Delgado (1-3) gave up Zach Walters' one-out homer in the ninth inning, sending Arizona to a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a doubleheader.
"Randall threw the first two balls right by him, then the next one caught too much of the middle, and he got all of it," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.
The loss spoiled a strong performance by Vidal Nuno, who allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings.
"I told myself, don't stride too much," he said. "I just kept it (his arm slot) down and mixing pitches."
Nuno retired the first eight hitters, striking out five, before Tyler Holt recorded his first major league hit, a two-out single in the third. The left-hander was drafted in the 48th round by the Indians in 2009. He earned his first career win against Cleveland on May 23, 2013, while pitching for the Yankees.
Nuno was acquired from New York for pitcher Brandon McCarthy on July 6.
Nuno matched Indians starter Trevor Bauer, pitching against the team that took him with the third pick of the 2011 draft. Bauer allowed two runs and struck out nine in a career-high eight innings.
"Both pitchers pitched well," Gibson said. "I thought Vidal was great."
Bauer didn't give up a hit until the sixth, when Arizona scored to break a scoreless tie. Michael Brantley's two-run single put Cleveland ahead in the bottom of the inning, but the Diamondbacks tied the game in the seventh on Aaron Hill's RBI groundout.
Bauer faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings before running into problems in the sixth. Jake Lamb drew a leadoff walk before Xavier Paul lined a clean single to right, putting runners on first and third. Lamb scored when Jordan Pacheco hit into a double play.
Hill had his problems at second base. He fumbled Brantley's hard-hit grounder in the sixth that was ruled a two-run single, and committed a fielding error in the eighth.
"You've got to make those plays and we didn't do that," Gibson said.
Bauer clashed with both Arizona management and teammates, leading to a short tenure with the Diamondbacks. The right-hander was 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts for Arizona in 2012 and was traded to the Indians in December.
"That was two years ago," Bauer said. "I've long since moved on. They are just another team, nine more hitters I've got to try to get out. There is no bad blood between them and me."
Gibson's 84-year-old mother sat through the entire 3-hour, 40-minute rain delay Tuesday before the game was postponed. "Of course she did," Gibson said, laughing. "What kind of an example would she set by leaving early?" Barbara Gibson, who lives in suburban Detroit, remained in Cleveland to attend the doubleheader.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Diamondbacks were planning to add a 26th player to their roster late Tuesday night when they learned that the rule only applies to day-night doubleheaders. Gibson had hoped to add a hitter to his bench, which only is three deep as Arizona is carrying 13 pitchers.
Diamondbacks: OF A.J. Pollock (broken right hand) is expected to resume his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Reno over the weekend. Pollock returned to Phoenix after being hit by a pitch on the same hand during his rehab debut in the Class A Arizona League, but tests showed no additional damage.
Diamondbacks: After the doubleheader, Arizona continues its 10-game road trip with a four-game series in Miami on Thursday. Arizona RHP Chase Anderson (7-4) takes on RHP Brad Penny (1-0). Anderson is unbeaten in his past five starts, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.74 ERA over 31 innings.