7/21/2013 4:51 P.M. ET
Gibson believes Parra soon will shake slump
By Andrew Owens / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gerardo Parra has been the spark plug atop the D-backs' lineup for much of this season, but recently he has been mired in a slump that has pervaded the clubhouse.
Parra entered Sunday just 1-for-7 in the series vs. the Giants, but the one hit was the D-backs' lone extra-base hit of the series, a first-inning double in Saturday's 4-3 loss.
His average has dipped from .299 to .282 during a 2-for-28 slump, but D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is hopeful Parra will turn it around soon.
"He's fine," Gibson said. "He got real run down at the end of the first half and got beat up in a couple of the plays he had. One against the Mets took a lot out of him. He's standing back [in the batter's box] better now."
As Parra limped to the All-Star break, Gibson even left his outfielder out of the starting lineup on consecutive days against Milwaukee. Although Parra has primarily been slotted at or near the top of the lineup in 2013 when facing a right-hander, Gibson gave him a rare start in the No. 7 spot Friday against Chad Gaudin. He responded to a start in the second spot Saturday with the first-inning double.
"There was only one [team extra-base hit]," Gibson said. "I'd like to see a lot more of them. You want to get multiple guys on -- especially in this park. There's pretty good gaps out there, especially in right-center field."
D-backs lament lack of extra-base hits
SAN FRANCISCO -- Until Friday, the D-backs owned the Majors' longest streak of consecutive games with an extra-base hit, with 79. The Giants ended that trend Friday, and Arizona mustered just one extra-base hit in Saturday's 4-3 loss.
Although Paul Goldschmidt's struggles this series -- he entered Sunday 1-for-9 with no RBIs -- have certainly played a large factor in the team's overall scuffles, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is hoping for more consistent production from the rest of the lineup.
"He's done his job. He's done his fair share," Gibson said. "You're not always going to get hits. The other night he hit one right on the button to the shortstop [with the bases loaded]. Obviously when he's driving it in the gaps, that's going to help anybody, but we got one extra-base hit in two games. We're just not doing it as a team."
Gibson pointed to the club's 2-for-13 mark with runners in scoring position in the two losses as the source of the team's offensive woes.
"I think you always remain optimistic about it," he said. "You want to come out of the break better than we did. It's part of the deal.
"We just haven't put things together. We've put guys in scoring position the first two games and haven't gotten them in. ... Just once you hope to get one in the gap."
For the D-backs, consecutive losses to the Giants represented another unsuccessful start to the second half. On Sunday, they attempted to avoid their third consecutive sweep when beginning the second half on the road. They were swept at Wrigley Field in 2012 and Petco Park in 2010.
"I'm not sure I've got the answer," Gibson said. "We haven't swung the bats good coming out of the break at all. We've got to do better than that. We've scored three runs in two games."
• Sunday's D-backs starter Randall Delgado made his second Major League start at AT&T Park with the Braves on Aug. 16, 2011. He no-hit the Giants through six innings before Cody Ross -- then with San Francisco -- homered to lead off the seventh.
• When Matt Cain and seven relievers combined to allow three runs against the D-backs on Saturday night, it marked the first time in history (excluding expanded rosters in September) that a club that allowed three or fewer runs used that many pitchers in a nine-inning game when the starter lasted five innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Giants closer Sergio Romo converted his 23rd save of the season Saturday, but he allowed a run to the D-backs to snap his 29-game scoreless streak against Arizona. The streak tied the Major League record for consecutive scoreless appearances against one team. John Smoltz did it against the Marlins from 2001 to 2004 and Romo achieved the feat against the Padres from 2009 to 2013.