Diamondbacks 7, Giants 3
PHOENIX, Jul. 26 — The Arizona Diamondbacks took advantage of nearly every base runner they had, leaving only three of the ten on base as they defeated the San Francisco Giants, 7–3, Tuesday night at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks struck first, doing so in the bottom of the second off Carlos Rodon. First baseman Christian Walker drew a leadoff walk. Second baseman Buddy Kennedy struck out before right fielder Jake McCarthy hit a grounder to second. Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores threw to second in time to force Walker. Giants shortstop Thairo Estrada, leaping to avoid being wiped out by a hard yet legal slide, could not get the hustling McCarthy at first. Diamondbacks third baseman Sergio Alcantara rewarded his teammates’ hustle by smacking a homer to the left-field bleachers. It was a deep fly that hit a fan in the first row and rebounded onto the field, giving the Diamondbacks a 2–0 lead after replay review.
Manager Torey Lovullo praised every aspect of the play. “It was the slide by Walker (and) the hustle by Jake that beat the throw that would have gotten them out of the inning. (Jake) was being a little bit of a distraction to Rodon. I think he clearly was distracted in a couple situations while picking off, and I think Jake got a really good break on a ball. He challenged Rodon, and Rodon made a mistake to Alcantara. That’s what happens, and Serge took advantage of it. Those are the little things that I think we do very, very well.”
Giants Tie Game, Diamondbacks Shake It Off
The Giants responded in the top of the third off Diamondbacks starter Tyler Gilbert. Right fielder Luis Gonzalez (no, not that one) singled. Center fielder Austin Slater flied to his counterpart before second baseman and former Diamondback Wilmer Flores sent a deep fly past the left-field bullpen for a game-tying homer.
In the bottom of the third, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo drew a leadoff walk before Carson Kelly took a pitch off the foot. After left fielder Jordan Luplow and designated hitter Ketel Marte struck out, first baseman Christian Walker dug in. He did not allow those two baserunners to go to waste. On a first-pitch 98-mph fastball, Walker swung, belting a towering home run a few rows into the left-field bleachers to give the Diamondbacks a 5–2 lead.
“He does a good job of mixing that good fastball with a slider,” Walker explained. “For a lefty-righty matchup it’s a challenging at-bat. The stuff feels different when that heater has some ride to it. I felt like, with the couple of hitters before me, something told me that he was going to try to challenge me with the fastball. And with the nature of my at-bats lately, I know I have to put a little extra focus on getting the barrel out there. I feel like I’ve been getting tied up a lot lately, so I really wanted to sell out to making sure — first and foremost — it was a strike. But being fastball timing, and I think it was just dumb luck. He happened to throw one inner half, and I was ready for it.”
Putting the Game Away
The Giants got a run back in the top of the sixth. Gilbert hit Estrada to lead off the inning, bringing the hook from Lovullo. In came Kyle Nelson for a lefty-lefty matchup against veteran first baseman Brandon Belt. Belt won this matchup, ripping a double to the right-field corner. Estrada scored from first, making the score 5–3.
The Diamondbacks struck again in the eighth. Catcher Carson Kelly led off with a walk and scored when pinch-hitter David Peralta tripled to the right-field corner. A follow-up double to right by Marte plated Peralta and finalized the score at 7–3. Diamondbacks reliever Mark Melancon finished off the game with 1-2-3 inning in a non-save situation. It took him eight pitches to slam the door.
Ian Kennedy (4–4) earned the win in relief, while Rodon (8–6) took the loss. The Diamondbacks (44–53) will go for a three-game series sweep against the Giants (48–49) Wednesday afternoon. Zac Gallen (5–2, 3.31 ERA) and Logan Webb (9–3, 2.77 ERA) will start for the Diamondbacks and Giants, respectively, in a battle of righties. First pitch will be at 12:40 Arizona Time.
Main Photo Credits:
PHOENIX, Jul. 26 — Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Sergio Alcantara crosses the plate after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning at Chase Field. (Photo by Evan Thompson)
Carlos Rodon, Christian Walker, Buddy Kennedy, Jake McCarthy, Wilmer Flores, Thairo Estrada, Sergio Alcantara, Torey Lovullo, Tyler Gilbert, Luis Gonzalez, Austin Slater, Geraldo Perdomo, Carson Kelly, Jordan Luplow, Ketel Marte, Kyle Nelson, Brandon Belt, David Peralta, Mark Melancon, Ian Kennedy, Zac Gallen, Logan Webb