Diamondbacks blanked by San Francisco Giants as slump continues

May 25, 2021, 11:16 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed fields a hopper against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth ...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed fields a hopper against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

PHOENIX — In case you’ve been distracted by the basketball team down the street, things haven’t been going well for the Arizona Diamondbacks lately. Tuesday night was no different.

The San Francisco Giants got to pitcher Corbin Martin for three runs in the first before the 10,311 fans at Chase Field could even settle into their seats. They added another three in the third — courtesy of an Evan Longoria home run – then tacked on a few more late on their way to an 8-0 win.

This loss is the D-backs’ ninth in a row. And zooming out to look at the big picture doesn’t really help, because they’re 3-18 since May 4.

Martin made his second start for Arizona, and just the seventh overall in his Major League career. So some growing pains are to be expected. He gave the Diamondbacks a chance in Los Angeles last week, allowing three runs over five innings before the bullpen eventually faltered, but tonight’s outing wasn’t nearly as effective.

“I thought Corbin was a little erratic with his command,” Torey Lovullo acknowledged. “With the traffic out there, made a couple mistakes. One resulted in a three-run double and one resulted in a three-run home run.

“It’s just eliminating some of those mistakes in key moments, and maybe not having as much traffic out there and putting the ball on the plate.”

Longoria was a problem for Arizona all night. He walked and scored in the first, hit that three-run homer to center in the third, nearly homered again before singling in the fifth, then doubled home Buster Posey in the seventh. When the dust settled, he had three hits, four RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Those weren’t all off Martin, but you get the picture. With the way things are trending for Arizona right now, the progress of prospects like Martin is quickly becoming the major focus of this season. So tonight stung a little more. The 25-year old righty left after four innings, with six runs allowed and just two strikeouts.

“Pretty bad honestly,” he said, when asked to evaluate his night. “Before the game, felt really good in the bullpen. Was pretty locked in, to say the least, then get out there and start falling behind guys from the get-go. That doesn’t add up to success at this level by any means.”

The real issue for the D-backs this month has been a lack of offense though. They’re 1-for-12 in their last 13, and they’ve managed just 21 runs across those 12 losses. That’s a mere 1.75 runs per game, and 10 of the 21 came in a three-game series at Coors Field.

Nick Ahmed cracked a pair of doubles tonight, and Pavin Smith chipped in a couple singles. But Arizona couldn’t string together enough hits to get anyone home against Kevin Gausman, who’s having a monster season and improved to 5-0.

On the bright side, Carson Kelly returned from the injured list and clubbed a single in his first appearance since May 13. Getting him back – along with Ketel Marte last week – is vital for this group right now, as Eduardo Escobar, David Peralta and Josh Rojas have been shouldering most of the load at the plate all month.

“We haven’t played a complete game in a long time,” Lovullo pointed out. “I’m talking about a complete game that’s good starting pitching that transitions into the bullpen getting the job done.

“The offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense is picking up the baseball, trusting their internal clocks and making plays – making the well-above-average plays. We haven’t done that in a while.”

They’ll get a chance to do it tomorrow, when these two teams meet again at Chase Field. Merrill Kelly is expected to get the start for Arizona, while San Francisco counters with Johnny Cueto.

First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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