D-backs use small ball, aggressive baserunning in sweep over Giants

Jul 27, 2022, 5:25 PM
Sergio Alcantara #43 of the Arizona Diamondbacks scores a run during the seventh inning against the...
Sergio Alcantara #43 of the Arizona Diamondbacks scores a run during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on July 27, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks took a page out of the old-school National League playbook with some small ball and aggressive baserunning in a 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants (48-50) at Chase Field on Wednesday afternoon.

The three-game series sweep marks the first for the D-backs (45-53) over their NL West division rivals since May 2019 and the first at home since August 2017. Arizona is also 6-3 against San Francisco this season after going an abysmal 2-17 last year in addition to being 5-1 since the All-Star break.

With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jake McCarthy reached on a bunt single and a Sergio Alcantara single saw McCarthy reach third and Alcantara advance to second on the throw.

Jose Herrera laid down a sac-bunt safety squeeze that scored McCarthy, and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt’s throwing error allowed Alcantara to come across to score as well.

Josh Rojas capped off the D-backs’ three-run seventh inning with a solo home run into the pool area off San Francisco LHP Sam Long to make it 5-2 Arizona after Giants manager Gabe Kapler pulled his starter in Logan Webb (9-4) in favor of the lefty-on-lefty matchup.

“I thought the safety squeeze was executed to perfection by Jose,” Lovullo said. “And then the extra tack on run by with Josh Rojas hitting the solo home run was much needed. So we kept after it, we kept after it for three days and we need to keep going. We got to keep playing good baseball and take it day by day.”

Webb was on his way to a quality start until the aforementioned seventh inning. The right-hander finished the ballgame having allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits (one home run) and one walk while striking out five over 94 pitches (59 strikes) in 6.1 innings pitched.

On the other side of the rubber, D-backs starter Zac Gallen was cruising in his first three innings, allowing just one baserunner through the first 10 batters he faced while striking out two. But a 34-pitch fourth frame saw two runs come across to score — only one of which was earned — which derailed the right-hander’s start.

“Zac had his pitch count climb pretty quick after that fourth inning — 30-plus pitches — it just made no sense to send him back out there even though it looked look good at 93 pitches,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “I knew he’d probably need to get 105-110 (pitches) and I didn’t want to put him in that situation. We had a bullpen that was ready to go.”

Gallen finished the day with a five-inning no-decision, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk while striking out five across 93 pitches (57 strikes).

“Didn’t really have a feel for much — did the best I could to keep us in the game, though,” Gallen said of his performance postgame. “This one was meaningful to the guys. I know they kind of wanted to put a stamp on this series here — an exclamation point — so just tried to do my best to keep us in it knowing I didn’t really have much out there. Just tried to minimize damage, limit the big innings.”

Left-hander Caleb Smith was the first Diamondback out of the bullpen and through 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball while striking out one. RHP Noe Ramirez — who picked up his third win on the year (3-3) — and LHP Joe Mantiply (12th hold) combined to give up one run in 1.2 IP before handing the ball over for Mark Melancon’s 14th save of the season.

“Caleb did a really nice job of being able to bridge the gap, get some righties into the lineup and strategically things worked out because it matched up well for Noe beyond that,” Lovullo said.

Just like Tuesday night’s 7-3 win, the Diamondbacks opened the scoring with the longball off the bat of an infielder. This time it was Ketel Marte, who launched a two-out solo dinger over the right field fence to give Arizona an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

The Giants got on the board in the fourth frame on a Thairo Estrad RBI double that scored Wilmer Flores and advanced Luis Gonzalez — no relation to the D-backs’ legend — to third base.

San Francisco took a 2-1 lead on some aggressive baserunning after Estrada stole second base and D-backs shortstop Sergio Alcantara’s error allowed Gonzalez to score from third.

“I think this team is hungry. I think this team wants to continue growing each day to show this NL West and the rest of the National League that we’re a good baseball team,” Lovullo said. “We’ve got a lot to prove. So I think we’re highly motivated and hungry and we’ve learned a lot of very hard lessons.

“We’ve been getting our butts kicked for a while and I think everybody’s getting tired of that.”


The D-backs will use their off day to travel to the East Coast before starting a three-game series with the Braves on Friday at 4:20 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.

Arizona LHP Madison Bumgarner (6-9, 3.71 ERA) is scheduled to start against Atlanta RHP Kyle Wright (12-4, 2.95 ERA).

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D-backs use small ball, aggressive baserunning in sweep over Giants