Diamondbacks 5, Giants 3
PHOENIX, Jul 27 — A drag bunt by Diamondbacks designated hitter Jake McCarthy opened the gates to a three-run bottom of the seventh, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5–3 victory over the San Francisco Giants Wednesday afternoon. The win gave the Diamondbacks a three-game series sweep over the Giants. This has not happened since May 24-26, 2019, and not at Chase Field since August 25-27, 2017.
Second baseman Ketel Marte gave the Diamondbacks an early lead with a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the first off Giants starter Logan Webb. The Giants snatched the lead in the fourth, starting with a one-out double by second baseman and former Diamondback Wilmer Flores off Zac Gallen. After first baseman Brandon Belt took a called third strike, right fielder Luis Gonzalez drew a walk. Shortstop Thairo Estrada plated Flores with a single, giving the Giants a 2–1 lead. The Diamondbacks answered with a one-out double by Marte in the bottom of the fourth. Two batters later, a double by left fielder David Peralta scored Marte and tied the game.
Bunt Turns into Diamondbacks Lead
The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. A bunt single by the speedy and disruptive McCarthy kicked the half-inning into gear. McCarthy said afterwards that the bunt was something he decided to do on his own but added that the coaching staff has given him the green light to bunt for a hit. He said that he was simply trying to get on base when he dropped down the bunt. McCarthy reached third on a slow-rolling single to center by shortstop Sergio Alcantara. When the throw went to third, Alcantara alertly took second. Catcher Jose Herrera, up next, bunted in a safety squeeze. Belt threw home, airmailing catcher Austin Wynns. In the ensuing chaos, Alcantara also scored. With the ball still not secured, Herrera attempted to take second, but a strong throw by Wynns nailed him for the first out.
That ended the day for Webb. In came Sam Long, who immediately coughed up a homer to third baseman Josh Rojas. This made the score 5–2. It became 5–3 in the top of the eighth. Austin Slater, who took over in center field in the sixth, smoked a one-out double to left. Two batters later, Belt singled to left, scoring Slater and narrowing the Diamondbacks lead to 5–3. Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn his 14th save of the season.
“It was a tremendous win,” manager Torey Lovullo declared afterwards. “Hard to say anything else. You win the first two games of a series, you talk to your team about not letting down and just going out there and getting after it, and they did. The Giants are a good baseball team. When we talk about home-sweeping them for three games, you know you’re doing things right. But that is a product of hard work and a lot of preparation. We need to continue doing that — can’t rest on anything. This team’s got to win the margins, got to go out and execute at a very high level. When we do it right, good things happen; when we don’t, we drop balls and they score runs. We make bad pitches and don’t execute, it ends up with slug. Simple. But we’ve been working hard to make this little run happen.
“Zac today, I thought, was pretty efficient. He gave up one earned run. As I mentioned, we didn’t make a play at second base, and it resulted in an unearned run. But he ran his pitch count up there with a 36- or 37-pitch fourth. It just didn’t make a lot of sense for me to send him back out there, even though it looked good at 93 pitches. I knew he probably needed to get 105–110, and I didn’t want to put him in that situation.
“We had a bullpen that was ready to go. Caleb (Smith) did a really nice job of being able to bridge the gap, get some righties into the lineup. Strategically, things worked out because it matched up well for Noe (Ramirez) beyond that. It was just well done and well executed by those guys.”
The Team’s Recent Success
“Ketel got us off to a great start with the solo home run. Then we just kept chipping away. I thought the safety squeeze was executed to perfection by Jose (Herrera), and then the extra tack-on run when Josh Rojas hit the solo home run was much needed. So we kept after it. We kept after it for three days. And we need to keep going. We got to keep playing good baseball and take it day by day.”
Rojas added that the sweep was “really nice.” He continued, “We always seem to give one away in these closers. So to get all three right there…was a great way to finish off the series.” Rojas attributes the team’s recent success — winning six out of seven, with five of six coming after the All-Star Break — to finding “our identity, playing as a team, working together, (and) using our speed and athleticism.” He went on to say that everyone had a good break, coming back well-rested and knowing what they have to do.
Ramirez (3–3) earned the win in relief, while Webb (9–4) took the loss. The Giants (48–50) went 0–7 on this road trip, losing four at Dodger Stadium before the three-game sweep at Chase Field. This marks the first 0–7 road trip they’ve had since 1985. These two, along with an 0–7 trip they had in 1984, mark the only three 0–7 trips they’ve had since moving to San Francisco in 1958. Having gone 11–23 since June 19, they head back home for an eight-game homestand, playing four each against the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. Game One, which matches Cubs lefty Justin Steele against Giants lefty Alex Wood, is Thursday at 6:45 pm Pacific.
The Diamondbacks (45–53) head east for a six-game road trip. After an off-day Thursday, they play three against the Atlanta Braves and three against the Cleveland Guardians. Madison Bumgarner (6–9, 3.71 ERA) and Kyle Wright (12–4, 2.95 ERA) will start Friday for the Diamondbacks and Braves, respectively. First pitch will be at 4:20 pm Arizona Time.
Main Photo Credit:
PHOENIX, Jul 27 — San Francisco Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores bats in the top of the fourth inning against Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen (not pictured) at Chase Field. Jose Herrera is the catcher, and Ted Barrett is the plate umpire. The Diamondbacks won, 5–3. (Photo by Evan Thompson)
Jake McCarthy, Ketel Marte, Logan Webb, Wilmer Flores, Zac Gallen, Brandon Belt, Luis Gonzalez, Thairo Estrada, David Peralta, Sergio Alcantara, Jose Herrera, Austin Wynns, Sam Long, Josh Rojas, Austin Slater, Mark Melancon, Torey Lovullo, Caleb Smith, Noe Ramirez, Justin Steele, Alex Wood, Madison Bumgarner, Kyle Wright