PHOENIX -- No home crowd in Arizona's 13-year history has been smaller than the 16,664 who watched the Diamondbacks beat Florida 10-4 on Thursday night.
Interim manager Kirk Gibson knows it's up to the team to win back the fans."That is our job," he said. "We've got to come out here and play regardless of who's up there. We have nobody to blame but ourselves."Gibson is taking some unconventional steps to try to get his team to rev up the intensity and self-confidence. Before Thursday's game, the Human Calculator, author and math whiz Scott Flansburg, gave a surprise presentation."Smart guy, I'll say that," Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson said. "I still don't know what we learned."Whatever it was, the runs and hits certainly added up as Arizona snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 2-5 since Gibson replaced the fired A.J. Hinch at the start of a 10-game homestand.Johnson and Gerardo Parra matched career bests with four hits apiece as Arizona tied its season high with 15 hits. And none of them were home runs."We came out swinging and strung together some big hits and drove in some runs," Johnson said. "We got a little help, too, and that never hurt anybody."Johnson had three RBIs, including a two-run triple in Arizona's five-run fourth inning against Florida's Anibal Sanchez. Cole Gillespie had a two-run double."When we got a couple of runs, we were kind of a different team," Gibson said. "The trick is to believe, if you're not scoring, that you're that same team."Parra had three singles and a double and scored twice. Stephen Drew tripled, scored three times and made a diving stop of a grounder to rob Jorge Cantu in the eighth.Brett Hayes hit his first home run of the season and second of his career for Florida, a two-run shot off starter Rodrigo Lopez in the seventh.The Marlins committed three errors in the opener of a four-game series that caps a season-long 13-game trip that began with three "home games" against the New York Mets in Puerto Rico."It is disappointing because we need a very good series to finish the first half strong," Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Hopefully we can find a way, starting tomorrow, to get these next three games. They have to be more mentally tough, but everyone's trying hard."Lopez (5-7) allowed four runs, three earned, and five hits in seven innings for his third victory in four starts. He was pounded for nine runs in 3 2/3 innings in his previous start, a 14-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.Sanchez (7-6) lasted just four innings plus two batters, his second-shortest outing of the season. He allowed six runs, five earned, and nine hits."It was a bad outing," Sanchez said. "I lost my command and didn't make the pitches I had to."Johnson's triple came down the right-field line, with big Mike Stanton crashing into the gate of the Marlins' bullpen. Florida closer Leo Nunez, sitting on a chair behind the gate, was sent crashing to the ground. He had an injured ankle but would have been available.Arizona added four runs in the sixth off reliever Tim Wood, who was called up for the third time this season from Triple-A New Orleans on June 17. Adam LaRoche and Chris Snyder had RBI singles and Mark Reynolds added a sacrifice fly. The fourth run of the inning scored on second baseman Dan Uggla's throwing error. Wood was sent back to New Orleans after the game.
Sanchez threw a no-hitter against Arizona on Sept. 6, 2006. ... The previous smallest Arizona home crowd was 16,792 against San Diego on April 26, 2006. ... The only smaller crowds for the Diamondbacks overall this season came at Florida on May 17 (10,870) and 18 (13,289). ... Wood, from Tucson, was a 44th-round draft pick from nearby Pima Community College.
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