Vogelsong, whose shaky performance during Spring Training placed him in the bullpen to start the season and has some Giant fans worried, was pressed into action when back stiffness prevented right-hander Jake Peavy from making his intended start. He did nothing to quell the concern of the San Francisco faithful as he allowed seven runs on six hits while walking four.
Throughout his 4.2 innings of work, the veteran right-hander battled command issues, and at times appeared displeased with home plate umpire Eric Cooper’s strike zone. Never more was Vogelsong’s frustration with the strike zone apparent than after he walked Paul Goldschmidt on a close 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the third, a pitch that would have ended the inning.
Instead, Goldschmidt made his way down to first while Aaron Hill was stationed on second after a two-out double. Vogelsong, still visibly frustrated with walking Goldschmidt, made a mistake to Peralta on a 1-0 count, which the Arizona left fielder deposited into the right-center seats.
San Francisco’s 2-1 lead, which came on the strength of a Buster Posey two-run home run, quickly became a 4-2 deficit.
The Giants seemed poised to jump back ahead during the top of the fourth inning against Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa.
Angel Pagan walked to start the inning and reached third when Posey followed with a single. Brandon Belt, who would later leave the game with a groin strain, cut the Diamondback’s lead to 4-3 with an RBI single.
The Giants threatened again in the top of the fifth.
Vogelsong helped his cause with a lead off single. Nori Aoki followed with a ground-rule double that Peralta appeared to take a bad route on. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Joe Panik lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Vogelsong and tie the game at 4-4.
Again, De La Rosa was able to limit the damage as he got Pagan to groundout to Hill. The 26-year-old righty then walked Posey, who had slugged a two-run home run during the first inning to stake the Giants to a 2-0 lead. With Aoki at third and Posey on first De La Rosa was able to get Joaquin Arias, who took Belt’s place, to pop up to shortstop Nick Ahmed.
Arizona quickly answered the Giants in the bottom of the fifth.
After Hill flew out to start the inning, Goldschmidt singled to get the Diamondbacks’ rally started. Peralta followed with a walk and Arizona had runners on first and second with just one out. Vogelsong tried to do his best to escape any damage by striking out Mark Trumbo for the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, Lamb delivered the decisive blow by taking a Vogelsong 3-2 offering and sending it over the right-center fence, thus ending the Giants’ starter’s night.
Lamb now has seven RBI through the first two games.
San Francisco would score two more times during the top of the sixth inning.
Crawford cut the Arizona lead to 7-5 after connecting for his first home run of the season, an opposite-field solo shot. Gregor Blanco followed the Crawford home run with a double to right, which ended De La Rosa’s performance. The Diamondbacks called on sidewinder Brad Zeigler to face switch-hitter Hector Sanchez, who followed with an RBI double to left. Zeigler buckled down from there, getting Aoki and Panik to groundout to end the inning.
Arizona’s bullpen held the Giants in check the rest of the way.
De La Rosa picked up the win for the Diamondbacks despite allowing six runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings.
Posey led the way for San Francisco, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
The Giants and Diamondbacks meet in the rubber match of the season’s first series today. First pitch is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. EST. Chris Heston will get the call for San Francisco in place of Matt Cain, who was placed on the 15-day with a flexor tendon strain. He will be opposed by right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who makes his debut with the Diamondbacks after coming over from Tampa Bay via trade.