PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona right-hander Ian Kennedy had been on an impressive run because he was throwing so many strikes.
It came to an end because, you guessed it, he had trouble finding the plate.
Struggling with his command all night, Kennedy labored through one of his shortest outings of the season in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Marlins on Tuesday that ended the Diamondbacks' winning streak at seven games.
Winner of his previous five decisions, including the past three starts, Kennedy (6-2) limited the damage in his five innings, allowing three runs, but still came away with a frustrating loss.
``I wasn't throwing strikes. It was bad everything by me,' Kennedy said after his shortest outing since lasting three innings in a loss to St. Louis on April 13. ``A little frustrating. I wanted to continue the streak, but it wasn't my night. It is frustrating because it all falls on me.'
Florida needed this one.
After opening their seven-game road trip with a three-game sweep at San Francisco, the Marlins had lost three of four, including consecutive lopsided losses to the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks.
Anibal Sanchez (5-1) did his part, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out eight to win his fifth straight decision. Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez hit solo homers and the Marlins took advantage of Kennedy's shakiness to make the most of their seven hits.
Leo Nunez cleaned it all up, working a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances, helping Florida bounce back from a 15-4 loss in the series opener Monday night.
``It's just a good feeling to get a win after those last two,' said Morrison, who has reached safely in all 32 games he's played this season, the longest active streak in the majors.
Arizona ended its magnificent May with a dud.
Kennedy had trouble locating his pitches in one of his shortest outings of the season and the offense had trouble locating Sanchez's changeup all night, leading to the Diamondbacks' third loss in 18 games. Justin Upton and Kelly Johnson hit solo homers, but Arizona had just four other hits after getting 19 the night before.
``We really had only two opportunities against him,' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Sanchez. ``He dealt with those situations really well.'
Arizona had five homers while just missing the nine-inning team record for hits in the series opener. This one didn't figure to be as explosive. Not with Sanchez and Kennedy on the mound.
Sanchez was coming off his second complete game of the season, a five-hit shutout over San Francisco on Thursday to win his fourth straight decision.
Kennedy wasn't bad his last time out, either, holding Colorado to a run over eight innings on Wednesday in his fifth straight win.
Sanchez got off to a rocky start, giving up Upton's long solo homer in the first on an 0-1 pitch, then settled into a rhythm. He struck out the side in the fourth inning, then worked through a little traffic in the sixth and seventh before giving up Johnson's 10th homer in the eighth.
That part the Marlins could see coming.
The surprise came from Sanchez's bat.
A .079 hitter with four career RBIs, he drove in runs in the fourth and sixth innings. OK, so maybe they were high-bouncing choppers that led to easy outs, but he got the ball in play and the runs across the plate.
``When I'm hitting, I just try to hit the ball, put the ball in play,' Sanchez said. ``Because something could happen if I put the ball in play.'
Kennedy was offkilter after cruising through the first inning, stranding runners in scoring position over the next two innings before really getting into trouble in the fourth.
He was knocked for two hits to open, then walked consecutive hitters to give Florida a run. Sanchez made it 2-1 with a groundout off the plate and Chris Coghlan was hit on the foot to load the bases, but Kennedy ended the inning by getting Omar Infante to ground out.
Kennedy's trouble didn't end there, though.
Morrison led off the fifth with his seventh homer, hitting a 1-2 fastball that was a little too close to the plate over the wall in center to make it 3-1.
Kennedy walked three, hit a batter and had two wild pitches, along with numerous others in the dirt that were blocked by catcher Miguel Montero.
``I feel like it was me that beat myself,' Kennedy said. ``I minimized the damage in those situations, but I want to go deeper in the game. It is frustrating when it is me that does it.'
Notes: Hanley Ramirez, Florida's three-time All-Star shortstop, missed his second straight game after experiencing stiffness in his lower back against Los Angeles on Sunday. ... Johnson is 13 for 31 during a seven-game hitting streak, including nine extra-base hits.
The Associated Press News Service
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