Posted on June 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Sunday, Oct 27 at 4:32 AM
PHOENIX -- Hector Noesi was superb his last outing, even if he ended up with a loss.
He never had much of a chance this time around.
Lacking the aggressive approach he had less than a week earlier, Noesi gave up the first three hits in Aaron Hill's cycle, setting the Seattle Mariners up for a 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night.
"I am fully confident he has the stuff, but he has to be aggressive with his arm action," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "His ability to repeat is why we feel strong about him as a starter. Now having said that, you have to be aggressive with all the pitches that you have."
Noesi (2-8) was knocked around for three runs in the first inning and allowed Hill to get his run to the cycle going.
Arizona's second baseman failed his last chance at the cycle, striking out with two on against Colorado on June 5 to finish a double short.
Hill put himself in position for another chance by hitting a single in the first inning off Noesi, a triple in the third and a double off the Mariners starter in the fifth.
This time, he finished it off in style, hitting a one-out, solo homer off Shawn Kelley in the seventh for the majors' second cycle this season. New York Mets outfielder Scott Hairston had the other one, against the Colorado Rockies on April 27.
It was the first cycle by a Diamondbacks player since Kelly Johnson did it against San Francisco on July 23, 2010. Stephen Drew (2008), Greg Colbrunn (2002) and Luis Gonzalez (2000) also hit for the cycle with the Diamondbacks. Unlike his predecessors, Hill did it in four at-bats.
"You just have to take a deep breath," Hill said. "It's something you can easily get excited about and try to do a little too much. It's something where, you've been here before, just get up there, see some pitches and put a good swing on it."
Seattle hadn't allowed a player to hit for the cycle since Oakland's Miguel Tejada did it on Sept. 29, 2001, at Seattle.
Arizona also tied a team record with four sacrifice flies, giving Wade Miley (8-3) more than enough run support.
The Diamondbacks rookie left-hander and Noesi were both coming off hard-luck losses.
Noesi allowed a run on five hits in seven innings of a 1-0 loss to San Diego last Thursday, extending his losing streak to a career-high four games.
Miley gave up a run three hits in 7 2-3 innings with eight strikeouts in a 1-0 loss to Texas the same day.
Neither was nearly as sharp this time.
Justin Upton drove in one with Arizona's third straight opening single off Noesi in the first inning, then Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt each hit sacrifice flies to put the Diamondbacks up 3-0 and end their scoreless streak at 21 innings.
Upton added a sacrifice fly in the third inning, Miguel Montero another in the sixth and Josh Bell made it 6-1 with a run-scoring single later in the inning.
Noesi allowed six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits in six innings.
"I have to be smarter. I have to be more consistent," Noesi said. "The last start was better. I was more aggressive."
Miley worked through traffic the first five innings, thanks to seven strikeouts, before Casper Wells drove in Seattle's first run with a run-scoring double in the sixth. Dustin Ackley followed with a single to left with two outs, but Kubel threw a one-hop strike to get Wells at the plate to end the inning.
Miley again found trouble in the seventh, getting out of it this time with the help of a diving stop by Bell at third and Montero nabbing Miguel Olivo at second on a strike-out, throw-out double play to end the inning.
"I felt like I was throwing ball after ball, kind of battling it a little bit," Miley said after allowing a run on nine hits and matching a career high with eight strikeouts in seven innings. "But I stuck with the game plan and battled through it."
Miley did his job and Hill provided the punctuated Arizona's bust-out game offensively by lifting Kelley's 1-0 pitch just over the wall in left-center. Hill tried to hold back his emotions as he rounded the bases, breaking out in a smile only after he crossed the plate. When the crowd called him out for a curtain call, well, there was no doubt he was going out -- this was a cycle, after all.
"That's a special thing," Hill said. "Obviously, the fans are here for us and have been here all year, so it was nice for them to recognize something."