PHOENIX - Kyle Kendrick didn't see it as a silver lining. The 25-year-old righthander held the Diamondbacks scoreless for four innings, appearing to have carried the momentum from his eight scoreless innings against the Braves the previous Tuesday into another start.
But even before his successful start evaporated in a five-run fifth inning, Kendrick wasn't thrilled with the way he was pitching.
Too often, he said, he left pitches up in the zone, where Diamondbacks hitters either missed capitalizing or left him with a jam to work out of.
In the second inning, he gave up a one-out double to Adam LaRoche, then a walk to Gerardo Parra and a single to John Hester with two out to load the bases (Kendrick ended the threat by getting opposing pitcher Rodrigo Lopez to ground out).
In the fourth, he struck out Mark Reynolds and Chris Young on cutters, but walked LaRoche and allowed a single to Parra before getting Hester to ground out.
"The ball was up early, too," Kendrick said. "I kind of made an adjustment in the third or the fourth and felt good, but in the fifth I think I was rushing a little bit."
The Diamondbacks eventually jumped on Kendrick in the fifth, as Kelly Johnson hit a two-run home run and Reynolds crushed a three-run shot to deep centerfield.
In four starts, Kendrick has recorded four no-decisions with an ERA of 7.71. Aside from his masterpiece against the Braves, he has allowed 16 runs, 20 hits and seven walks in 18 2/3 innings.
"He started getting the ball right in the middle of the plate, from what I saw," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said. "He didn't make very good pitches."
Facing righthander Rodrigo Lopez and a Diamondbacks bullpen that doesn't have a single lefty, Manuel saw a good opportunity to start lefthanded hitting reserves Ross Gload and Greg Dobbs. The duo batted first and second and combined to go 3-for-10 with three RBI and two runs scored, including Dobbs' first home run of the season.
Gload started in rightfield, Jayson Werth moved to center and Shane Victorino got the day off. Werth narrowly missed chasing down a long triple by Stephen Drew in the fifth.
"I figured it was a good chance to get them some at-bats," Manuel said. "And the guys that sat today, it's good for them to get a day off. I liked the matchups between most of their righthanded pitchers, especially Lopez, against Dobbs and Gload, because they are down hitters, and he's a sinker ball, slider, curveball pitcher."
Shortstop Wilson Valdez, starting for Juan Castro at shortstop, went 2-for-4 and threw Drew out at home in the eighth inning.
"Valdez played a really good game," Manuel said. "He made a tremendous throw. He made one heck of a throw. He saved us there for a while. Then, of course, we gave it up."