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Giants Rally, Avoid Being Swept by Diamondbacks

Giants Diamondbacks

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 5

PHOENIX, July 6 — Riding a two-run game-tying pinch-homer in the top of the eighth by Darin Ruf and a three-run ninth, capped by a two-run double by Austin Slater, the San Francisco Giants rallied from a 4–0 deficit to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7–5, Wednesday evening. The victory allowed the Giants to avoid a three-game sweep. It also wiped out a valiant two-run, two-hit start by Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly, who had outdueled Giants righty Alex Cobb.

The Diamondbacks took an early lead in the bottom of the first. It started with a two-out double by designated hitter Ketel Marte. After first baseman Christian Walker…er, walked, left fielder David Peralta singled Marte home. It became a four-run game in the bottom of the second. Second baseman Buddy Kennedy led off with a single but was retired on a 6-5 force play at second. The runner taking his place, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo, advanced to third on a single by catcher Jose Herrera. A double to right by third baseman Josh Rojas scored Perdomo and advanced Herrera to third. Both Herrera and Rojas scored when center fielder Alek Thomas followed with a single.

Giants Chip Away at Diamondbacks Lead

The Giants got on the board in the top of the fifth. It initially looked like it came in the form of a three-run home run by catcher Joey Bart that would have scored shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Tommy La Stella. However, a crew chief-initiated replay review led to a fan interference ruling, giving Bart a double. “Shout out to that fan for catching that ball and not making it a homer,” Kelly joked after the game. “That one definitely helped out a bunch. (Bart) put a good swing on that ball.”

Crawford, who had reached with a double, still scored. However, La Stella — who reached on a walk — had to stop at third. Right fielder LaMonte Wade Jr. followed with a grounder to short. Bart, who had already started toward third, got caught in a rundown for the second out. However, Wade’s grounder brought La Stella in from third, making the score 4–2 in favor of the Diamondbacks.

In the top of the eighth, left-handed reliever Joe Mantiply took the hill. He had 31 scoreless outings out of his 33 total relief appearances at that point — a National League-leading 93.9%. It was not to be this time around. After a bunt single by pinch-hitter Austin Slater — initially ruled out but corrected after replay review — pinch-hitter Darin Ruf belted a 429-foot game-tying homer into the left-field seats.

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Giants Take Lead, Hang On

Mantiply stayed in to pitch to the leadoff man in the top of the ninth, left-handed-hitting center fielder Mike Yastrzemski. On a 2–2 count, Mantiply clipped Yastrzemski with the pitch, putting him on first. In came righty Sean Poppen to pitch to David Villar, among others. Giants manager Gabe Kapler countered with pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores, who singled to center. Crawford hit a grounder to short — not hard enough for a double play, however, as Crawford beat out Kennedy’s relay to first. A walk by La Stella loaded the bases for Slater, whose double to right plated both Yastrzemski and Crawford. Catcher Austin Wynns, who entered as a defensive sub in the bottom of the eighth, hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored La Stella and gave the Giants a 7–4 lead.

Camilo Doval entered the game to shoot for the save in the bottom of the ninth. Perdomo led off with a walk before pinch-hitter Cooper Hummel struck out. A fly to left by Rojas put the Diamondbacks on the ropes, but Thomas drew a walk to bring up Marte as the tying run. His single scored Perdomo, cutting the deficit to 7–5, and advanced Thomas to third. Jake Hager ran for Marte as Walker stepped to the plate. After a 10-pitch at-bat — one that saw a close take and four foul balls — Walker drew a walk, bringing up Peralta with the bases loaded.

That brought Sam Long in to pitch in a lefty-lefty matchup. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo countered with pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow, who entered with a .313 on-base percentage and .589 slugging percentage against lefties. The odds did not help Luplow here, as he struck out on three pitches, swinging right through an 0–2 curveball to end the game.

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Postgame Reflections

“A lot went right for a large portion of this game,” Lovullo said afterwards. “It’s just that things unwound a little bit in the eighth and ninth inning. But if I’m going to look at the entire body work, I gotta look at three-game series and say, ‘Look, we played some good baseball, we did a lot of good things.’

“I think our offense has figured out some really key concepts about keeping the line moving, handing it off to the next guy, putting up some crooked numbers. We got an outstanding pitching performance by Merrill but just made some mistakes. They matched up against us, and we got clipped. That happens in this game. But as frustrating as it was for those last couple of innings, we set that aside, built the inning, and in the ninth were a hit away. We had quality at-bat after quality at-bat against a very good closer with some aggressive stuff, and we didn’t shut down. I was really proud of that.”

A Maturing Team

After the season the Diamondbacks had in 2021, and the start they had in 2022, losses like this one would have been devastating to this team as recently as May. “…if we’re trying to get to where we want to be, those are definitely games that we have to win,” Kelly said. But this team has matured over the course of the season thus far. Kelly added, “On the flip side, it’s still a series win. We took two out of three, played three really good games, (but) today kind of got away from us.”

Kelly gave credit to a teammate for keeping everything in perspective. “Walk (Christian Walker) did a good job coming in the locker room and reminding us that it was still a series win — still a good series. Obviously, when you give it up at the end, it’s more frustrating than probably if you give it up at the beginning. But I think we’re doing a pretty good job on focusing on the positives, and it was still a good series for us. Still a series win, so I think we’ll be alright.”

Walker added, “That was an awesome series (against) a really good team. We played them tough, took the series. It sucks not to get the sweep —obviously, you want to win every game — but being fair, that’s a heck of a series. We played hard, put up a lot of runs, answered when we needed to answer. The timing — just ran out of innings at the end. But I was really proud of the team, and I think if we can maintain that energy and pace of play, I think it’s gonna be a really fun rest of the season.”

Looking Ahead

John Brebbia (4–1) earned the win in relief, while Mantiply (1–2) took the double-whammy blown save-loss. Long notched the save, his first of the season. The Diamondbacks (37–45) and Giants (41–39) both play Thursday, with the Diamondbacks staying home while the Giants head to San Diego. Both teams will start at the same time — 6:40 Pacific. The Giants will face the San Diego Padres (47–36), with the teams starting right-handers Logan Webb (7–3, 3.13 ERA) and Joe Musgrove (8–2, 2.25 ERA), respectively. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will host the Colorado Rockies (35–47). Lefties Austin Gomber (4–7, 6.53 ERA) and Dallas Keuchel (2–6, 8.27 ERA) will be on the hill for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, respectively.

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX, July 6 — Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo bats against Alex Cobb of the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the third inning at Chase Field. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Players/Managers Mentioned:

Darin Ruf, Austin Slater, Merrill Kelly, Alex Cobb, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, David Peralta, Buddy Kennedy, Geraldo Perdomo, Jose Herrera, Josh Rojas, Alek Thomas, Joey Bart, Brandon Crawford, Tommy La Stella, LaMonte Wade Jr., Joe Mantiply, Mike Yastrzemski, Sean Poppen, David Villar, Gabe Kapler, Wilmer Flores, Austin WynnsCamilo Doval, Cooper Hummel, Jake Hager, Sam Long, Torey Lovullo, Jordan Luplow, John Brebbia, Logan Webb, Joe Musgrove, Austin Gomber, Dallas Keuchel


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