Arizona's Skaggs gets win in major league debut

BOB BAUM (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated PressAugust 22, 2012
Miley, Skaggs pitch D-backs to sweep of Marlins
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Skaggs tips his cap after leaving the game during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, the first game of a doubleheader, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. It was Skagg's major league debut. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) -- The crowd was small in the opener of Arizona's first home doubleheader in the franchise's history.

Yet they provided young Tyler Skaggs with the thrill of his life as they stood and cheered as he left the mound at the end of his impressive major league debut.

''It was phenomenal,'' he said. ''I mean, the greatest feeling I've had so far in my life.''

Skaggs allowed three hits through 6 2-3 innings, pitching Arizona to a 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins Wednesday.

The 21-year-old left-hander gave up a two-run homer to Justin Ruggiano in the second, then shut down the Marlins on one hit the rest of his outing. He fanned four and survived five walks.

''It got pretty nerve-wracking,'' Skaggs said, ''but I feel like I did a pretty good job.''

Aaron Hill had a two-run homer and an RBI single. Jacob Turner (0-1), in a strong first start for Miami since coming to the Marlins in a trade deadline deal with Detroit, allowed three runs and four hits in six innings.

''Outstanding,'' Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said. ''He was relaxed on the mound, very nice and loose. He was throwing a lot of strikes. He made one bad pitch but I like what I see. ''

Guillen had to see most of it on a television in the clubhouse.

The manager was ejected by first base umpire Angel Campos after the top of the third inning. It was the second time the Marlins manager has been tossed this season.

'' I have been ejected 27 times but that one was a weird one,'' Guillen said. ''The excuse he is going to make is I was throwing water at him. I never did. I just threw water on the field then some of the players were telling me I got kicked out of the game.''

Gerardo Parra singled twice and scored both times for the Diamondbacks in a game that went just 2 hours, 20 minutes. The doubleheader was necessary because Arizona had played on 23 straight days.

After getting 35 hits in winning the first two games of the series, Miami managed just five against Skaggs, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez and J.J. Putz, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 16th straight save and 25th in 28 tries this season.

Arizona needed two batters to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Parra led off with a single, then Hill hit an 0-1 pitch into the Diamondbacks bullpen down the left-field line for his 18th home run.

Miami tied it on Ruggiano's first-pitch homer to center in the second. Giancarlo Stanton had led off the inning with a walk.

Arizona regained the lead at 3-2 in the third. Parra singled to start the inning, then came home on Hill's single to left. Hill was thrown out by Ruggiano trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Guillen was tossed after Jose Reyes was picked off on a steal try. Skaggs threw to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt as Reyes took off. Goldschmidt threw to the second baseman Hill, who applied the tag.

That was the play that led to Guillen's complaint. He said that after he was tossed, he confronted Campos on the field and asked ''Did you kick me out of the game because you thought I threw water at you or because I was arguing a balk?''

''You are not supposed to argue balks and I know that. I have spent 30 years in the big leagues and I know that,'' Guillen said. ''When I ask what the reason you kicked me out and you don't answer me, then I am going to stay on the field as long as I can to make sure you tell me. But he never told me. ''

Skaggs (1-0) escaped a serious jam in the sixth when he walked the first two batters on eight pitches. But after a visit by pitching coach Charles Nagy, Skaggs got Carlos Lee to ground into a double play to third, then Stanton popped out to third to end the inning.

Skaggs got the first two batters to pop out in the seventh but walked Donnie Murphy, causing manager Kirk Gibson to end the youngster's outing.

''I wasn't going to let him get the loss,'' Gibson said. ''He'd done his job.''

Skaggs' outing was the second-longest for an Arizona pitcher in his major league debut behind Gerardo Guzman's eight innings on July 6, 2000, against Houston.

NOTES: The series has featured three of the four smallest home crowds for the Diamondbacks this season. ... Guillen said OF Emilio Bonifacio ''will be out for a little while'' with a sprained right knee. He was injured early in Tuesday night's game, was out of the lineup and underwent an MRI. ... Arizona OF Justin Upton sat out the game with a sore right hamstring. An MRI was negative, the Diamondbacks said. ... The Diamondbacks optioned RHP Sam Demel to Triple-A Reno. Demel was the loser in Arizona's 6-5, 10-inning game against Miami on Tuesday night. He had been recalled from Reno earlier on Tuesday. The team also recalled OF A.J. Pollock from Reno.