Diamondbacks closer Heath Bell surrendered a two-run home run to Jay Bruce in the top of the ninth inning that turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit. It marked the fifth consecutive game in which Bell has allowed a homerun:
- June 10 @ Dodgers: Juan Uribe walk-off solo home run
- June 12 @ Dodgers: Ramon Hernandez solo home run (note: Hernandez was designated for assignment today)
- June 17 vs. Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton go-ahead solo home run
- June 19 vs. Marlins: Justin Ruggiano go-ahead three-run home run
- June 22 vs. Reds: Jay Bruce go-ahead two-run home run
Bell’s ERA is now 5.02, a year after posting a 5.09 ERA in 63.2 innings. In fairness, aside from the home runs, his defense-independent stats (strikeouts and walks) are back at the same level when he was a dominant closer with the Padres. However, his fastball velocity is on a three-year decline and he no longer benefits from a pitcher-friendly home ballpark.
You have to wonder how much longer the Diamondbacks, nursing a 2.5-game lead in the NL West, will continue trotting Bell out in save situations.
Bell becomes first reliever in D-backs history to allow a home-run in five consecutive appearances.
— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) June 23, 2013
The Diamondbacks bailed out Bell in the bottom of the ninth, however, as Jason Kubel helped walk off with a two-run, bases-loaded single to center against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.