PHOENIX (AP) - Another game, another low-wattage effort for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Neil Walker drove in Pittsburgh's only run with two outs in the first inning and the Pirates lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Monday for their sixth loss in seven games.
``We haven't scored many runs but we have been in just about every game,' Casey McGehee said. ``I think there have been flashes and signs that we are swinging the bats a little bit better. I think we have too much offensive talent to continue this for too long.'
The Pirates have scored two runs or fewer in seven of 10 games. Andrew McCutchen singled with two outs in the first and stole second. McGehee legged out an infield single to deep short and Walker singled to center, scoring McCutchen.
From there, Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders (1-0) and two other pitchers combined to retired 24 of the final 28 batters they faced including the last 10.
``We are still lacking that big hit on offense and the ability to grind out some at bats,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``After the three (hits) we had four the rest of the game. There is still work to be done.'
Pirates starter Erik Bedard (0-3) scattered three hits over five innings but walked four, the final two of which helped the Diamondbacks take the lead in the fourth.
Paul Goldschmidt took ball four with two outs and went to second on a passed ball. Bedard then walked Jason Kubel and Ryan Roberts followed with a line single to right, scoring Goldschmidt to make it 2-1.
Bedard had walked only two batters in his first two starts spanning 12 innings.
``I don't think (the offense) matters for a pitcher,' said Bedard, who had one of the Pirates' seven hits. ``You just go out and try to put zeroes up there. It doesn't matter if it's 10-0or 1-0.'
Chris Young had three hits including his team-best fifth home run and Saunders pitched seven strong innings for Arizona. Aaron Hill and Gerardo Parra also homered for the Diamondbacks.
NOTES: Saunders passed the 1,000 career inning mark in the seventh. ... Arizona has scored in the first inning in eight of 10 games this season. ... McCutchen is 3-for-5 on stolen base attempts. ... Diamondbacks RHP Takashi Saito, who is on the 15-day DL with a strained right calf, allowed two runs on two hits while throwing 16 pitches in an extended spring game Monday morning. ... Hill's home run was the Diamondbacks' fifth first-inning homer. Arizona has hit 14 overall. ... Hill hit eight home runs in 2011 for Arizona and Toronto. ... Parra's homer was the 42nd to land in the swimming pool in Chase Field's 15-season history. ... Diamondbacks RHP Ian Kennedy will look for his third straight win to start the season on Tuesday when he faces Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens. ... The Pirates have yet to face consecutive same-handed starting pitchers this season, a streak that will end against Kennedy and fellow right-hander Daniel Hudson.
The Associated Press News Service
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