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Sedona Red Recap: Starters rest as D-backs’ backups can’t overcome Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo takes the ball from starting pitcher Zack Godley after he gave up five runs to the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX – Even though manager Torey Lovullo gave most of the Arizona Diamondbacks starters the night off, there may have been a celebratory hangover a day after the team clinched a spot in the 2017 postseason. In Game 1 of the final regular season home series, the D-backs failed to take care of business against the San Francisco Giants, falling 9-2.

If there were a MVP of the Wild Card clinching celebration Sunday, it would have to go to Monday starter Zack Godley. He was one of the most rambunctious partiers during their jamboree.

Godley was in control for the first three innings Monday and was able to get out of some early jams unscathed while the D-backs were able to build a two-run lead.

But the wheels fell off in the fourth inning when he gave up an RBI double to Jarrett Parker and a three-run home run to Nick Hundley, his ninth of the season. The bad inning continued as a solo shot by Hunter Pence increased the San Francisco lead to 5-2.

While Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was able to keep the D-backs’ offense quiet most of the night, San Francisco was able to increase the lead based on Arizona’s mistakes. Two defensive errors in the sixth allowed an unearned run to score and push the Giants’ lead to four runs, effectively ending Godley’s day.

Godley lasted 4.1 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits. He struck out five Giants, walked one and gave up two home runs.

The last two starts for Godley have been troublesome. After giving up five runs or more only once this season, he has allowed five earned in his last two consecutive starts.

The offense wasn’t as plentiful as it normally is and was not able to back up Godley. The duo of Gregor Blanco and Brandon Drury supplied the entirety of the offense, with Blanco walking twice and Drury driving him in both times with a pair of doubles in the first and the third.

Aside from that, Cueto was stingy in his appearance for the Giants. He went six innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He walked two, struck out eight and hit one batter.

The Giants were able to add three more runs in the eighth inning off of two more D-backs defensive errors and run away with the win.

The bad news is that the D-backs lost, but the good news is that the starters will be back in the lineup in game two as they look to bounce back and finish the season strong heading into the 2017 playoff race.

THE GOOD

– Blanco has reached base safely in 41 of his 51 starts this season.

– With his RBI double in the first, 16 of Brandon Drury’s last 26 hits have gone for extra bases. He is now ranked eighth in the NL with 36 doubles.

– Drury is batting .345 in his last 81 games at Chase Field.

– Reserve Jeremy Hazelbaker tripled. He also made an outstanding play in right field that resulted in keeping at least two runs off the board for the Giants.

THE BAD

– Starters Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, J.D. Martinez, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Chris Iannetta were all given the night off after the D-backs clinched a Wild Card spot a day prior.

– Sloppy defensive errors didn’t help on a night where the offense couldn’t get going against Cueto. Three of the four errors committed by the D-backs led to runs scoring.

– Three extra base hits by the D-backs’ offense is not going to result in success most nights.

STAT OF THE GAME

E1, E3, E8, E1 – Four defensive errors from the D-backs resulted in three unearned runs scoring. The unearned runs would have been enough alone to beat the offensive output from the D-backs.

HE SAID IT

Torey Lovullo on starter Zack Godley’s night: “It wasn’t a great outing for Zack. I thought he was grinding through most of his work today. He had a couple of moments where he caught a little tailwind and made some quality pitches and seemed to get into a mini rhythm, but overall I thought it was a grinding effort for him.”

NOTED

– The D-backs are 43-31 against the NL West this season. They are tied with the 2002 and 2011 Diamondbacks teams for the third-best mark against the division in franchise history.

– First pitch was at 6:40 p.m. with an outdoor temperature of 84 degrees. The roof was open at first pitch.

– 22,813 were in attendance at Chase Field.

UP NEXT

After giving most of the starters the night off, the D-backs will be back at full strength in game two of this series as they prepare themselves for the 2017 postseason. Robbie Ray will start for Arizona while Matt Moore (6-14, 5.20 ERA) will start for the Giants.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Ray is 5-0 in his last six starts with a 2.45 ERA and 52 strikeouts, but he did not factor into his last start. He is 3-1 in his career against the Giants with a 2.83 ERA.​

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