D-backs swept, losing streak stretches to five straight games
PHOENIX, Ariz. — The good news is the Arizona Diamondbacks are a first-place team.
The bad news is they are also a team with the longest current losing streak in all of baseball.
They dropped their fifth straight, extending a season-worst slide, losing 6-4 to the Washington Nationals, who completed the four-game series sweep in front of an announced crowd of 31,906 at Chase Field and a nationally televised audience watching ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
The Nationals hit four home runs, none bigger than Mark Reynolds’ go-ahead two-run shot off Archie Bradley (0-1) in the eighth inning. It was Reynolds’ second homer of the game. He, Bryce Harper and Trea Turner all went deep earlier off starter Zack Godley, who despite getting hit hard — the three home runs allowed tied a career-high — managed to give the D-backs 6.1 innings.
The no decision result left Godley winless in each of his last three starts.
Godley was taken off the hook in the seventh inning when the D-backs rallied for three runs behind Jarrod Dyson (two-run single) and Daniel Descalso (RBI double) to tie the game at 4.
And though the overall effort fell short, it was good to see the D-backs bats come alive after lying dormant for much of the series.
The D-backs have lost 8 of 11, yet still maintain a 2.5-game lead in the N.L. West.
The hitting streak has now reached seven consecutive games, the D-backs’ longest active streak. In his second at-bat, David Peralta, swinging at a first-pitch changeup, ripped a two-out triple into the right-field corner. And it just so happened to drive in Ketel Marte, who had singled two batters earlier, to tie the game at 1 in the third inning. Peralta finished 1-for-5 and is now batting .323 with four RBI during the streak.
Though the D-backs haven’t won many games recently, they do continue to win manager’s challenges. The latest: A safe call overturned in the third inning. According to first base umpire Mark Ripperger, Turner just did beat the throw from Marte on a sharply hit ground ball. But after video replay review, which lasted 1:31, Turner was called out. It marked the D-backs’ 10th overturned call in 14 manager’s challenges this season.
See, the D-backs can score runs. Held to one run in each of the first three games of the series, the D-backs exploded for three in the seventh inning, tying the game at 4. Dyson plated a pair with a pinch-hit single and then two batters later, with Dyson running on the 3-2 pitch, Descalso laced a ball into the gap in right-center for an RBI double. For Descalso, who went 1-for-3 with a walk, it was his 13th RBI in his last 20 games.
A leadoff walk, a delayed steal, a base hit and 10 pitches into the ballgame the Nationals had the lead, 1-0. Howie Kendrick dropped a single into right field scoring Turner, who earned a free pass to first base despite being behind in the count 0-2. It was the 19th walk issued by Godley this season and the 11th in his last four starts. Kendrick entered the game 5-for-9, including 3-for-3 with one home run and two RBI this season, lifetime against Godley.
The ball left the bat traveling at 115 mph. All Steven Souza Jr. could do was turn and watch. Harper drilled a 3-0 pitch — it was a 90.1-mph sinker that just didn’t sink enough — several rows up into the seats in right field, thus extending the Nationals lead to 2-0 with one out in the third inning. It was Harper’s team-leading 13th home run of the season. It was also the fourth long ball surrendered by Godley this season.
Make that five home runs surrendered by Godley this season. The fifth came in the fifth inning. As the roof was opening up, Turner lined a 1-1 pitch into the D-backs bullpen to make it a 3-1 ballgame. For Turner, it was his second homer of the series, third on the Nationals’ current road trip and fifth of the season. It was also the second of his career off Godley. Turner began the day 4-for-10, including 2-for-4 this season, lifetime against Godley.
And now it’s six home runs surrendered by Godley this season. The sixth came in the sixth inning. And just like Turner it was a leadoff shot. Reynolds, who just joined the Nationals on Saturday after signing a minor league deal on April 17, got ahold of a 2-1 offering and put the ball into the seats in left field. It was his first hit of the season and the 63rd home run he’s hit at Chase Field, a building he called home for the first four seasons of his career.
Um, make that now 64 home runs hit at Chase Field. Reynolds smashed his second in as many at-bats with one out in the eighth inning. It was a two-run shot well over the left-field fence that put the Nationals back in front, 6-4. Reynolds hit a 3-2 fastball — clocked at 96.4 mph — that Bradley left belt-high. It should be noted, Bradley entered the game having recorded 11 straight scoreless outings (11.0 IP). He had not allowed a run since April 13.
STAT OF THE GAME
4: The D-backs’ four runs surpassed their total from the first three games of the series; overall, they were outscored 13-7 and went 3-for-24 with runners in scoring position
HE SAID IT
“These are the grinding, hard days that all good teams go through. All teams go through. And this is when we got to stick together, this is when we got to believe in one another. We got keep pounding and fighting and grinding away at all the things that we remember that we can do,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
• Godley threw a first-pitch strike to 16-of-27 batters faced; in addition, he reached a 3-ball count four times.
• Alex Avila struck out in each of his three plate appearances; he has now struck out 38 times in 69 at-bats.
• Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is now 3-for-44 with 17 strikeouts and one RBI in May.
• A.J. Pollock, along with Marte, had two hits and is now batting .330 (29-for-88) with 21 RBI in his last 23 games.
• D-backs last appeared on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball back on July 10, 2016 at the San Francisco Giants.
• D-backs last played a home Sunday night game back on Aug. 31, 2008 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
• Arizona dropped to 8-13 on Mother’s Day; they had won three of their last four played on the celebration.
• D-backs players and coaches wore pink-themed items and used Mother’s Day themed baseballs and bases.
•With a first-pitch temperature of 86 degrees, the roof and panels were closed until the start of the fifth inning.
The Milwaukee Brewers invade Chase Field.
It’s a three-games series with Patrick Corbin and Junior Guerra in the opener on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Corbin (4-0) has not factored in the decision in either of his last three starts, leaving him winless since April 22; and he has faced the Dodgers in back-to-back outings, so a matchup with the Brewers should be a nice change of pace.
In his career against Milwaukee, Corbin is 2-4 in seven games, including six starts.
Meanwhile, Guerra (2-3) finds himself in the midst of a three-start losing streak. He, too, has not seen the win column since April 22.
Over his last two starts, Guerra, who has not pitched past the sixth inning this season, has allowed a combined nine runs on 12 hits in 10.0 innings.
The D-backs went 4-3 against the Brewers last season, including 2-1 at Chase Field.