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Jonathan Sanchez, Chris Leroux struggle through 10-2 loss


Well, this didn't go well at all, but at least we can chalk that up to a bunch of players who really don't matter much, like Jonathan Sanchez and Chris Leroux. Of course, with the news that Wandy Rodriguez will likely miss his next start, the Pirates will likely have to continue to rely on players who shouldn't matter much, even if they aren't these specific ones.

The Diamondbacks scored three against Sanchez in the first, then three more in the second, thanks to walks, errors, and HBP, and A.J. Pollock hitting a double and then a three-run homer.

And ... that's really all you need to know. But let's continue, shall we? Pollock hit another homer, this time a solo shot, off Sanchez in the fourth, and Sanchez then allowed another walk and a single before being removed in favor of Leroux ... who promptly walked three straight batters, the last two on four straight pitches apiece. 14 of Leroux's first 16 pitches were balls, placing him squarely in sarcastic-applause-for-a-strike territory. Ultimately, Sanchez was charged with nine runs, and Leroux with one (although Leroux deserved a worse fate than that).

It's likely that both pitchers are on thin ice with the Pirates. Sanchez will likely only get perhaps two more starts like this before being replaced with Phil Irwin or someone else, although another injury to a starting pitcher in Rodriguez may buy Sanchez some more time. I loved Leroux in the 2011 when he was throwing 95-MPH darts, but he hasn't done nearly enough since then to justify that faith.

The Pirates turned to Jared Hughes in the seventh, and he mopped up with two scoreless innings. Of course, the Bucs had already used their real mop-up guy in Leroux, and one wonders how much to read into these things (maybe nothing), but it was interesting to see them turn to Hughes in garbage time -- he's plainly below Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon in the pecking order, and after a poor start to the season for Hughes and good ones from Justin Wilson and Tony Watson, Hughes may have fallen behind them as well.

Offensively, Starling Marte continued his hot hitting with a single and a double, and Michael McKenry went 1-for-2 with a double of his own, but the Pirates only managed two hits in addition to those.