Diamondbacks’ bullpen collapses late in loss to NL West rival Giants
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks fell to the San Francisco Giants 7-5 on Wednesday at Chase Field after the bullpen conceded five runs in the last two innings of the contest.
Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly had yet another solid performance as he pitched 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, two hits, three walks and two earned runs.
“These are the games if we’re trying to get to where we want to be, we definitely have to win,” Kelly said. “On the flip side, that is a series win, took 2-of-3 and played three really good games.”
After coming from behind in the first two games of the series, Kelly’s offense gave him an early cushion to work with in front of 13,445 fans.
Arizona launched a two-out rally in the bottom of the first when Ketel Marte doubled, Christian Walker walked and David Peralta singled to break the scoreless contest.
The D-backs continued to add runs in the second inning with singles from Buddy Kennedy and Jose Herrera, a double from Josh Rojas and single from Alek Thomas. This gave Kelly a 4-0 lead heading into the third inning.
The righty was untouchable through four innings but ran into trouble and surrendered his first hit of the night in the fifth to short stop Brandon Crawford, a walk and a bizarre double by catcher Joey Bart that was initially ruled a three-run home run that was called back due to fan interference.
After review, what initially was a three-run homer for Joey Bart was ruled a double due to fan interference pic.twitter.com/x8YcXEJMtE
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 7, 2022
“Shoutout to that fan for catching that ball and not making it a homer, that one really helped a bunch,” Kelly said.
The Giants scored one on Bart’s double instead of the original three put on the board but eventually scored the runner from third on a fielder’s choice.
The fifth inning was Kelly’s only blemish on the evening and the only frame he surrendered a hit in.
San Francisco starter Alex Cobb threw six innings allowing four earned runs, striking out three and walking one batter.
Lefty Kyle Nelson appeared in relief of Kelly to close out the seventh inning and used just five pitches to record the final two outs of the inning.
D-backs’ Joe Mantiply came on in the eighth and immediately gave up a single and two-run home run to Giants pinch hitter Darin Ruf, tying the ball game at 4-4. Mantiply had only surrendered four runs all season through 33 games heading into Wednesday.
“It sucks,” Mantiply said. “I let the team down there in that situation and I am a little frustrated with that for sure.”
The San Francisco pitching staff recovered after allowing seven hits in the first three innings, only allowing one more hit until the ninth inning.
Mantiply returned for the beginning of the ninth inning but was replaced by RHP Sean Poppen after plunking the first batter of the inning.
Poppen gave up a single on the first pitch to former D-back Wilmer Flores. He got a force out at second base from Crawford to give the Giants runners on first and third with just one out.
The righty then walked second baseman Tommy La Stella on five pitches to load the bases for Austin Slater. Slater drove a ball to right field that plated two runners, completing San Francisco’s comeback.
San Francisco added one more run on a sacrifice fly, pushing the once two-run deficit in the eighth to a three-run lead in the ninth.
The D-backs got two runners on in the bottom half of the frame and were able to send Marte, the tying run, to the plate. Marte smashed a single to the right field, plating Geraldo Perdomo and sending Alek Thomas to third.
Christian Walker stepped to the plate with two runners on as the potential winning run. Walker worked a 10 pitch at-bat to a full count and eventually walked to load the bases.
Jordan Luplow had a pinch-hit, three-pitch strikeout to end the game and leave the bases loaded.
“A lot went right for a large portion of this game, things just unwound a little bit in the eighth and ninth inning,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
“If i’m going to look at the entire body of work, I have to look at the three-game series and say, ‘We played some good baseball, we did a lot of good thing and I think our offense has figured out some really key concepts about keeping the line moving, handing it off to the next guy and putting up crooked numbers.”
The D-backs’ home stand continues with a four-game set against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.
Arizona’s Dallas Keuchel will take the bump against Colorado’s Austin Gomber at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.