D-backs lose 10th in a row, second double-digit losing streak of season
PHOENIX – The Los Angeles Angels put up six runs early on Sunday as the Arizona Diamondbacks continued to struggle with reliability from their starting rotation. The D-backs lost their 10th game in a row, 10-3.
Ketel Marte was 2-for-3 with a walk in the loss.
This is the D-backs’ second double-digit losing streak this season, and they have now lost 24 of their last 26 games and 33 out of their last 38.
“It’s been extremely challenging,” manager Torey Lovullo said post game via Zoom.
“I will say this: it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to walk through in my managerial career, and we all love challenges. We’re built on accepting challenges. We’re built on going out there and finding a way to meet those challenges and excel at the right point in time, and that will be my message to the guys every day.”
It was a disastrous fourth start for pitcher Jon Duplantier.
Justin Upton hit the first pitch of the game for a laser single and was brought home two batters later by a monster 440-foot home run off the bat of catcher Max Stassi, his fifth of the season.
It was more of the same in the second inning for the D-backs.
After Duplantier allowed a leadoff single to outfielder Taylor Ward and a one-out single to pitcher Patrick Sandoval, Angels second baseman David Fletcher laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Ward.
Upton drove in two more with another single that Ketel Marte misplayed in the outfield. Duplantier then gave up an RBI double to Jared Walsh that put the Angels up 6-0.
He hit Stassi with a pitch in the following at-bat, which ended his day.
“It was inconsistent,” Lovullo said of Duplantier’s outing.
“We’ve had conversations with Dup where we’ve been challenging him and laying it out there and being as transparent as possible to just make sure he knows where we stand with our expectations, and his expectations are the same as ours.”
“Today was not a good day where he met those expectations.”
Duplantier only lasted 1.1 innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits. He hit one batter with no walks or strikeouts.
His ERA currently sits at 13.15.
Relief pitcher Riley Smith did an excellent job of putting out the fire and giving the D-backs a chance to get back in it, going 3.2 innings without allowing a hit.
However, Lovullo may have left Smith in for an inning too long.
Once Smith got into the sixth, he really struggled to fool batters any longer.
He gave up a double to Ward, an RBI double to Juan Lagares, another RBI double to Fletcher and a single to Upton. The Angels added two runs to their lead in the inning.
Walsh homered in the eighth off Kevin Ginkel, scoring Fletcher and pushing the Angels’ run total to 10.
Although they have been able to produce runs throughout this losing streak, the offense couldn’t get things going at Chase Field on Sunday.
Pavin Smith continues to be a bright spot for the team. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk, and he continues to lead all MLB rookies in hits with 66.
In fact, since May 29, Smith leads all MLB hitters with a .394 batting average.
David Peralta had a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh that scored Asdrubal Cabrera. They added another run in the ninth on a Carson Kelly RBI single.
“We talk about winning the inch here, which to me is playing focused, fundamental baseball,” Lovullo said.
“We can’t worry about making it all up at one time. I think we got to take a step back and just say let’s play at a certain level, a certain way from this point forward.”
Matt Peacock and the D-backs will look to avoid making history on the road as they head to San Francisco for a three-game series with the Giants.
Arizona is currently on a 19-game road losing streak and is dangerously close to the 1985 Pirates’ 22-game skid, the longest in MLB history.
Peacock was removed from his last start with numbness in his right ring finger after injuring it attempting to field a baseball with his bare hand. The x-rays were negative. In five starts, he has a 2-3 record with a 5.24 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 1.311 WHIP in 34.1 innings pitched this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.