Manager A.J. Hinch was bombarded by questions when the Diamondbacks returned home for their first game at Chase Field after their franchise-worst 0-9 road trip, and one answer was revealing.
"This group hasn't responded that well to me," Hinch said when asked about the team's recent performance. "I'm not going to run from our reality. I'm scratching and crawling to find the right solution, but I'm not going to run from any accountability. If the finger gets pointed here directly, I'm supposed to be the rock on this team that stands in the middle of the fire, so I have no problem with that."
The D-backs' 21-34 start is the second-worst in franchise history, trailing only the 17-38 start by the 1998 expansion edition. Their 7-6 walk-off victory over Colorado on Friday broke a 10-game losing streak, and Justin Upton's two-run home run in the first inning snapped a 31-inning scoreless streak.
The D-backs are 79-109 (.420) under Hinch, who was given a four-year contract by general manager Josh Byrnes after manager Bob Melvin was fired on May 7, 2009. Melvin, now a scout for the Mets, was the 2007 NL manager of the year; Hinch had never coached or managed before he promoted from director of minor league operations. Arizona remains on pace to set major league records for home runs allowed and strikeouts by the offense.
Dan Haren, who is off to the worst start in his career, was pointed in his assessment of recent failings.
"No offense to other teams, but if you look at other teams, like Pittsburgh or Houston, teams that are struggling, they don't have near the amount of talent that we have," Haren said. "So something's wrong, and something's got to be done to fix it. I don't know what."
Managing general partner Ken Kendrick has said all phases of the operation are under evaluation, including the performances of Byrnes and Hinch. Byrnes' contract goes through 2015; Hinch's expires after 2012.
DIAMONDBACKS 7, ROCKIES 6: PH Ryan Roberts lined a single to center field with one out in last of the ninth inning to cap a two-run rally and give the D-backs their first walkoff victory of the season, breaking a 10-game losing streak in which the last four losses on an 0-9 road trip were walkoffs. LF Gerardo Parra's single tied the game, scoring pinch-runner RHP Edwin Jackson from second base. RF Justin Upton hit a two-run home run in the first inning to break a 31-inning scoreless drought. CF Chris Young also homered.
--RF Justin Upton's two-run home run in the first inning ended the D-backs' franchise-record string of 31 straight scoreless innings, after 2B Kelly Johnson opened the inning with a single. Philadelphia, which like the D-backs has one of the most potent offenses in the NL, had a 31-inning scoreless streak earlier this season. Since the beginning of the modern era in 1900, the record for consecutive scoreless innings is 48, set by the 1906 Phillies and tied by the 1968 Cubs.
--LF Conor Jackson, in a 1-for-19 skid, did not start for the fourth time in five games, although he singled in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter. OF Gerardo Parra started against Colorado RHP Aaron Cook. Jackson, hitting .227, is 1-for-13 in his career against Cook. Parra's RBI-single in the ninth inning gave him eight RBI, one more than Jackson.
--3B Mark Reynolds was back in the lineup Friday after missing consecutive starts because of a right quadriceps injury. Reynolds hit two sacrifice flies and was twice hit by a pitch, leaving after being struck in the left pinkie to start the game-winning rally in the last of the ninth. Reynolds was replaced by pinch-runner RHP Edwin Jackson, not because of the pinkie but because of the quadriceps injury. Reynolds made his first start since Monday in Los Angeles.
--RHP Ian Kennedy made the D-backs' fifth straight quality start -- he gave up six runs, but only three were earned after an error by 2B Kelly Johnson allowed a three-run home run by Colorado 3B Ian Stewart in the sixth inning. D-backs' starters Kennedy, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, RHP Dan Haren, and RHP Edwin Jackson have given up seven earned runs in their last 37 innings, a 1.70 ERA.
--The D-backs used the first game of a weekend series against Colorado on Friday to announce the naming of the spring training facility the teams will share in the Valley, to open in 2011. The complex, which has 12 practice fields, is to be known as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. It is located on land owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the first spring training facility built on native American land. "Talking Stick" is a historical reference to the traditional Pima calendar stick on which carvers recorded significant events and milestones.
DIAMOND STAT: 86 -- Home runs allowed by Diamondbacks pitchers through May 30, a pace that would break the major league record of 241 set by Detroit in 1996.
QUOTABLE: "I sense a ton of frustration on our team and we're not responding perfectly, but I don't think there's a lack of effort or a lack of will. I just think there is a lack of answers." -- Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch.
Are you a full member of FutureBacks.com? If not, then you are missing out on the top Diamondbacks coverage we provide to our premium members, as well as full access to over 400 other Scout.com sites. Join us today!