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Diamondbacks lose fifth in a row as pitching struggles vs. Giants

Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants high fives Stephen Vogt #21 after Pillar hit a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on June 21, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The lack of depth at starting pitching continues to plague the Arizona Diamondbacks as another short outing by Taylor Clarke gave the San Francisco Giants an 11-5 win over the D-backs at Chase Field on Friday.

“We’re grinding a little bit with our starting rotation,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s what’s been the strength of this ballclub for the past couple of years, and it will continue to be. We just need to get some guys healthy.

“But in the meantime, we need some guys to step up and learn and grow and get better each and every outing.”

The wheels started to fall off for Clarke in the second inning when he gave up a leadoff double to Stephen Vogt, followed by a two-run home run to Kevin Pillar.

Then, in the third inning, Clarke hit Pablo Sandoval and walked Brandon Belt and Pillar to load the bases for Alex Dickerson, who delivered with a grand slam home run that put the Giants up 6-0.

Clarke lasted three innings, allowing seven hits and six earned runs. He walked two and struck out three.

Opposing teams have been hitting the rookie hard this season. Of the 41 hits Clarke has given up this season, 21 have been extra base hits.

“I feel like in that inning I got ahead of those guys, and then just didn’t make the pitches to put them away and let them get back into the counts and eventually ended up just walking them,” Clarke said on the tough third inning that ended his night.

After going 2-for-2 with a triple in the first inning and an RBI single in the third, Ketel Marte left the game with a left groin cramp and was replaced by Ildemaro Vargas. He was described as day-to-day.

Friday marked Marte’s sixth straight multi-hit game, which ties him for second-longest streak in franchise history with four other players.

Despite losing their most productive player on offense, the D-backs made a run at a comeback in the fourth inning. Nick Ahmed, fresh off his hand injury on Thursday, hit a two-run home run that scored Christian Walker.

Carson Kelly doubled and scored on a Vargas RBI single, but the rally ended when Adam Jones was caught attempting to stretch a single into a double.

T.J. McFarland was able to come in and keep things close for three innings until the seventh inning. Pillar’s two-RBI single and Dickerson’s base clearing, two-RBI triple put the game out of reach. Dickerson had six RBI on the evening.

The offense seemed to finally get rolling at home in the fourth inning, but it was quickly extinguished. The D-backs are currently second in MLB on the road in batting average with runners in scoring position, but they are ranked 27th at home in the friendly confines of Chase Field.

After Clarke and McFarland, Matt Andriese and Archie Bradley pitched in relief. The Giants recorded at least one run off of all four D-backs pitchers on Friday, though in fairness to McFarland, he had two 1-2-3 innings and had already left the game when his runners eventually scored.

UP NEXT

The D-backs look to stop the skid in game two of this series with the Giants. Before Friday’s game, Lovullo confirmed that Zack Godley will be the starting pitcher for the D-backs on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

This will be Godley’s first start since May 18. He is 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA and an opponent batting average of .219 in 18.1 innings since his last start.

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