D-backs onto Sunday after Luke Weaver gets roughed up in loss to Twins

Jun 18, 2022, 11:06 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, takes the baseball from starting pitcher Luke Wea...

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, takes the baseball from starting pitcher Luke Weaver during the fourth inning of the team's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“It wasn’t a great day.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks (31-36) are onto Sunday after an 11-1 loss against the Minnesota Twins (38-29) Saturday at Chase Field.

The ballgame was over in the fourth inning as the Twins piled on nine runs while having hit into only 11 outs against Arizona starter Luke Weaver.

Weaver got off to a promising start through 2.1 innings, but disaster struck when he left too many pitches over the middle of the plate in the third frame.

The Twins obliterated five baseballs over 100 miles per hour off the bat en route to a six-spot, according to Statcast.

Minnesota produced six hits in the inning, three of which went for extra bases. Designated hitter Gary Sanchez sent a high fastball to Glendale for a two-run shot to cap the scoring barrage. His home run traveled 456 feet to left-center.

“Luke had a really clean first inning, we thought that things were moving in a very good direction,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.

“He just made some mistakes and gave up some big hits at some inopportune times. I think they were checking off of his changeup, that’s the thing that stood out to me … He got himself into some counts where he had to throw the ball over the plate, and they were just impacting the baseball.”

Weaver ran into more trouble the following inning. After a walk and two singles, Minnesota was up 7-0, and the righty was up to 72 pitches.

Third baseman Gio Urshela stepped in as Weaver’s final batter with lefty Caleb Smith in the pen.

Urshela ripped a double into the corner in left field at 109 miles per hour off the bat. That was that for Weaver in his first start of the season. His nine earned runs set a career high.

Weaver was placed in the bullpen to start the season, but he went on the injured list after an Opening Day relief appearance. He worked his way back to the majors last weekend and slid into the fifth spot in the rotation Saturday with Humberto Castellanos on the 60-day injured list.

He has tweaked his mechanics to avoid future injuries, and Saturday’s performance left him with mixed feelings.

“I have to understand that I’ve changed some things,” Weaver said. “I have to trust in that and believe that. And it’s easy to look right now at that stat line and not believe in that. And so I sit here with a lot of mixed emotions. But I think I just have to sit there and have some grace, and just realize that’s not who I am.”

Lovullo said his staff will discuss what to do with the No. 5 spot in the rotation going forward.

Caleb Smith entered for Weaver and bridged the gap through the eighth inning, critically saving Louvlllo’s bullpen for the rubber match on Sunday.

Smith allowed two earned runs in 4.1 frames and threw 93 pitches.

Infielder Jake Hager came in to pitch the ninth, a 1-2-3 frame.

Every Twins starter in the order picked up a base hit, five of whom had multi-hit games.

Arizona’s offense stepped in against veteran starter Dylan Bundy, who went three perfect innings before center fielder Alek Thomas knocked the first hit of the night for his team.

Thomas’ single extended his hitting streak to 10 games, a stretch he is batting .378 in.

The D-backs broke through with a run in the fifth after rookie second baseman Buddy Kennedy drilled a triple into the left-center gap in his second MLB game.

Catcher Carson Kelly brought Kennedy home with a sacrifice fly to center.

Bundy tossed eight one-run innings in which he threw 107 pitches. He struck out 10 batters.

“We just never really got anything going offensively,” Lovullo said. “I’ve seen (Bundy) for a lot of years … I think he just kept us off balance today. But it’s one of those days, you gotta move on as quickly as possible.”

To pile onto an already difficult night at the ballpark for the D-backs, right fielder Daulton Varsho exited the game after trying to beat out a ground ball in the sixth inning.

Varsho has a left heel contusion, Lovullo said, which occurred when he jammed his heel into the base.

Varsho believes he can play through it.

The 11-1 final score is the second-most lopsided loss of the season for Arizona after a 14-1 defeat against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 26.

Yet, the series remains on the line.

“Gotta clean the slate and be able to wipe it off and be able to go tomorrow and play well,” Varsho said. “It’s all we can do.”

The D-backs play for a series win on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Merrill Kelly will be on the hill against Minnesota’s Chris Archer.

Catch the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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