PHOENIX (AP) -- Rallying from a five-run deficit wasn't quite
enough to give Al Pedrique a victory in his debut as Arizona
That season-long Diamondbacks' problem -- errors -- made the
Danny Bautista bobbled the ball in the outfield, allowing Luis
Rivas to score in the ninth inning and give the Twins a 6-5 victory
over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Minnesota stopped a five-game losing streak and pulled within
one game of the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Arizona, last in the NL West, dropped to 29-51.
Pedrique, who managed in the minor leagues for eight seasons
before becoming Arizona's third base coach this year, was hired
Friday as the Diamondbacks' manager for the rest of the season. Bob
Brenly was fired less than three years after leading Arizona to its
only World Series title.
The Diamondbacks trailed 5-0 after three innings, but scored
five in the fourth.
"I'd say the first two innings I was pretty nervous," Pedrique
said. "But then the team came back, and I really got pumped and I
felt much better the rest of the game."
Stephen Randolph (2-2), who had retired seven in a row, walked
Rivas with one out in the ninth, then was replaced by Brandon
Villafuerte. Pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy doubled to right-center,
and Bautista bobbled the ball, allowing Rivas to score.
"It was a tough play. He ran a long way and has got to backhand
the ball in the gap," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's
not an easy play, and Luis is one of our faster guys, too. Speed
does that to people. Speed can make you rush things."
It was Minnesota's third unearned run of the game.
J.C. Romero (4-1) pitched three scoreless innings, and Joe
Nathan threw a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances.
"I was very pleased with the way I executed my pitching
tonight," Romero said. "It was a big situation. I had to find a
way to stop the rally and change the momentum. It seemed like
everything was turning toward their favor."
Arizona fell behind 5-0 after three innings, then came back with
five runs in the fourth, getting help from shortstop Cristian
Guzman's throwing error.
"We've got a whole second half to go," the Diamondbacks' Luis
Gonzalez said. "Today we played better. Unfortunately we didn't
come up with the win, but we had a good rally there. The guys kept
Corey Koskie singled in both runners, then scored on Jones'
two-out single to make it 5-0.
Bautista's leadoff single started Arizona's comeback. Shea
Hillenbrand singled, then Chad Tracy doubled in Bautista. Alex
Cintron's infield single brought in Arizona's second run. Juan
Brito hit a hard grounder to shortstop, but Guzman's short throw
sailed past Rivas at second, and two runs scored to make it 5-4.
Alomar's groundout to first brought home the tying run.
"It's been a long day for everybody today," Gonzalez said.
"There was a lot of hoopla today for a lot of guys to swallow
around here. In a couple of days we'll get on the road, and then
the All-Star break up. We're just going to try to turn this thing
around and start playing positive."
Minnesota starter Kyle Lohse allowed five runs -- three earned --
and 11 hits in five innings. Arizona knuckleballer Steve Sparks
lasted just four innings, allowing five runs -- three earned -- and
Alomar saved a run with a diving stop of Hunter's hard
grounder to second to end the fifth. ... Guzman has a team-leading
nine errors. ... Arizona's Greg Aquino pitched two scoreless
innings of relief in his major league debut.