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D-backs drop another game, lose a second straight series

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt walks back to the dugout after striking out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Phoenix. The Brewers won 8-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers combined for five home runs on Wednesday afternoon. And this was with the roof closed, too.

Unfortunately for the D-backs, the Brewers accounted for four of those balls leaving Chase Field.

Domingo Santana and Christian Yelich each hit two-run homers, while Tyler Saladino and Travis Shaw had solo shots helping Milwaukee win the game, 8-2, and the series, 2-1, in front of 16,762, the D-backs’ smallest home crowd of the season.

All four home runs came off starter Matt Koch (2-2), who suffered his worst loss of the season. He was tagged for eight runs on nine hits with one walk in a season-low 4.1 innings.

Offensively, the D-backs struggled once again. They managed just four hits following a three-hit effort the game before. One of those was a two-run home run by Daniel Descalso, which at the time trimmed the Brewers lead to 3-2 in the first inning.

But after the Descalso at-bat, the D-backs went 19 plate appearances (including three walks) before their next hit, an infield single by Steven Souza Jr. in the sixth inning, while the Brewers added five more runs to hand the D-backs their second straight series loss.

Brandon Woodruff (2-0), who had never faced the D-backs, combined with three relievers to give the Brewers their third win in four games and first series victory in Arizona since June 2014.

The D-backs went 1-6 on the homestand and have dropped seven of eight overall.

THE GOOD

Last night’s hero picked up where he left off. In his first at-bat, Descalso lined a 2-2 fastball — clocked at 93.3 mph — over the right-field fence for a two-run home run with one out in the first inning. Jarrod Dyson scored ahead of Descalso to make it a 3-2 ballgame. For Descalso, it was his fifth homer in 108 at-bats. By comparison, he had 10 home runs in 344 at-bats a year ago.

Needing someone to eat innings, the D-backs once again called on T.J. McFarland. He entered with one out in the fifth inning and exited 10 batters later. McFarland recorded 2.2 scoreless innings — his third straight scoreless outing — allowing one run with one walk and one strikeout. It marked his seventh multi-inning effort over the 13 appearances he’s made this season.

THE BAD

The third out proved elusive for Koch in both the first and second innings. In the first, after a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain, Koch retired the next two batters before being tagged for back-to-back home runs by Shaw and Santana; their 10th and second of the season, respectively. Then in the second, Koch got two quick outs ahead of a Cain single and Yelich two-run home run, which extended the Brewers lead to 5-2.

For those keeping track, the three home runs allowed by Koch marked a season-high. Shaw hit a 0-1 pitch two-thirds up the right-field foul pole; Santana belted a first-pitch fastball — clocked at 90.3 mph — into the seats in left field; and Yelich drilled a 2-0 offering over the fence in right field. The three homers came within the first 11 batters of the game. Koch, by the way, has now allowed five home runs in his last three starts.

Uh, make that six home runs allowed in his last three starts. Koch surrendered a leadoff homer to Saladino in the fourth inning, giving the Brewers a 6-2 lead. Saladino smashed a 2-1 fastball—clocked at 90.1 mph—off the batter’s eye in straightaway center field. It was his second home run of the series and the season. Remember, Saladino hit an inside-the-park homer on Monday, which led to the injury to A.J. Pollock.

STAT OF THE GAME, part 1

13: The D-backs were outscored on the homestand, 29-13; with the eight runs allowed on Wednesday tying a season-high

STAT OF THE GAME, part 2

.173: The D-backs batted .173 (39-for-226) on the homestand compared to a .233 (57-for-245) mark by the Nationals and Brewers combined

HE SAID IT

“Just a dud, a little bit of a clunker. We didn’t execute on the mound and made mistakes to a pretty offensive team that is aggressive to certain pitches in certain zones and certain velocities and they made us pay for it,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Obviously, a frustrating homestand, but we got to put it behind us.”

NOTED

Koch threw a first-pitch strike to 15-of-22 batters faced; plus, he reached a three-ball count three times.

Descalso finished 1-for-4 and is now batting .333 (21-for-63) with 16 RBI over his last 23 games.

Alex Avila walked in each of his first two at-bats, giving him 13 walks vs. 38 strikeouts this season.

With a first-pitch temperature of 89 degrees, the game was played with the roof and panels closed.

UP NEXT

A road trip. And a long one, too.

Immediately after the game, the D-backs headed to the airport to catch a flight to New York, the first stop on a three-city road trip. They’ll play nine games over 10 days, beginning Friday, May 18 with the first of three with the Mets.

It will be dueling right-handers on the mound in Zack Godley and Jacob deGrom. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN 620 AM.

Godley (4-2) has not factored in the decision in either of his last two starts and has not visited the win column since April 27. He’s seen his ERA balloon more than 60 points to 4.08 due to him allowing eight runs over his last 12 innings pitched.

Meanwhile, deGrom (3-0) is coming off a one-inning, 45-pitch outing in what was his first start following a brief stint on the disabled list with a hyperextended right elbow. The Mets insist he’s fine.

deGrom began the year 2-0 and finished April 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA.

Last season, the D-backs went 6-1 against the Mets and are 11-2 since 2016, going 6-1 at Citi Field during that span.

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