Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walk-off overshadows Saunders' good start

By Anthony Fenech / | 05/19/11

PHOENIX -- Lost in the finish of Wednesday's 5-4 come-from-behind, walk-off win over the Braves was six strong innings from D-backs starting pitcher Joe Saunders.

"I thought I pitched OK," the left-hander said. "I got out of some jams and felt like I threw strikes, was aggressive in the strike zone, and I though the real key for me was throwing ground balls and letting my defense work for me."

Saunders allowed one run on seven hits and induced nine ground-ball outs.

But perhaps the biggest two outs of his night came in the sixth inning from the arm of left fielder Gerardo Parra, who threw a pair of runners out trying to advance to third base.

"They were huge," Saunders said. "He threw absolute strikes, and it wasn't only huge for the team, but it was huge for me, to get out of there with only one run of damage."

Said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson: "Joe was great."

Still, Saunders was unable to pick up his first victory of the season in the no-decision, something the seven-year veteran said he doesn't think about much.

"You can't," Saunders said. "You just have to go out there and do your thing. It's hard to control wins and losses, you just have to go out there with whatever you have that day to keep your team in the ballgame, and that's what I've tried to do."

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