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D-backs fail to recover from Luke Weaver’s early exit in loss to Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during a baseball game, Saturday, Aug 29, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Saturday night provided the Arizona Diamondbacks the perfect opportunity to string together back-to-back wins and garner some momentum after losing a season-high eight straight.

Just as important, however, it provided starting pitcher Luke Weaver to rid the bad taste in his mouth from his previous outing against the San Francisco Giants.

But after the D-backs jumped on pitcher Tyler Anderson and a reeling Giants team just a night prior, it was San Francisco who had Weaver’s number in Arizona’s 5-2 loss on Saturday.

The hurler managed just 3.0 innings of work, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and one walk. He also struck out six. Weaver now sits at 1-5 through seven starts this year.

“I think Luke, although he had good stuff, I think there were just too many mental mistakes,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “The  you make mental mistakes at this level you’re going to pay for them. He was getting ahead of some counts and I thought everything looked crisp … but once I got into some conversations I just felt like those mental mistakes caught up to him.”

Weaver had little time to settle in against a Giants team who entered Saturday 6-11 on the road.

After a three-pitch strikeout kicked off his inning, Weaver ran into trouble in the form of a single before back-to-back doubles quickly put the score in the Giants’ favor at 2-0.

Another double in the second inning brought in another run before a third-inning RBI single, courtesy of DH Pablo Sandoval, increased the D-backs’ deficit to 4-0.

“Ultimately, it came down to executing while being the driver seat,” Weaver said of his outing. “[The Giants] took advantage of  that and I think that’s just something where I take that away from this and work on … whatever it needs to be after looking at it.

“Besides that, that’s just kinda where trickle effect goes with the pitch count and everything else. It’s really unfortunate but it should be an easy adjustment.”

The one-run third would spell the end of Weaver’s night, who allowed at least one run in each of the first three frames.

In two games (8.2 innings) against the Giants this season, Weaver has given up a combined six earned runs on 13 hits.

“I know he has been making unbelievable strides and pushing himself in the right direction,” Lovullo said of Weaver. “I’m going to take this as an outlier. I don’t want to say it’s a step back. I think anytime you don’t throw the ball the way you want to — he’s going to do some self-evaluation and he’ll understand how to get better the next time.”

Unfortunately for Weaver, the team’s offense remained quiet in his second consecutive start against San Francisco.

Tallying just three hits and striking out seven times as a team, Arizona couldn’t produce offensively. Meanwhile, the Giants had little trouble getting on base, registering 13 hits throughout the night.

“It’s been that type of ballgame we’ve seen over this stretch where we have limited opportunities and we can’t take advantage of them,” Lovullo said. “We’re in and out of the at-bats … The at-bats were a little inconsistent and we just need to maintain that consistency through the counts, through the at-bats and build innings. We were unable to do that from an offensive standpoint today.”

The lone bright spot at the plate was first baseman Christian Walker.

Walker kept things interesting in the fourth inning, erasing the team’s zero on the scoreboard with a two-run homer into left.

The dinger marked the fifth-straight game Walker has driven in a run, setting a new career high. Walker has also hit safely in seven consecutive contests. He finished the night going 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

BASE HITS

– Starling Marte extended his home hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fourth inning.

– The D-backs are 9-7 with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

– Christian Walker leads the Majors with 13 doubles.

– Ketel Marte remains four hits shy of 600 after going hitless Saturday night.


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