Diamondbacks ‘frustrated’ after dropping winnable series vs. Marlins

May 10, 2023, 5:34 PM

Merrill Kelly mound visit...

Catcher Jose Herrera #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks talks to starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on May 10, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Frustration (noun): the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.

That was the word of the day for the Arizona Diamondbacks (20-17) following a 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins (19-19) on Wednesday afternoon.

The defeat dropped Arizona another half-game back from the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (23-15) and marked just the second home series of six lost by the D-backs this season.

“These are the ebbs and flows of a baseball season. You have some good and bad moments,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “I think there’s some frustration in there. I don’t think we expected to lose today’s game.

“I think when we walked into that dugout today and even through the course of the final out of the game, I felt like we were going to win the game. I think everyone in that dugout did, too. … I want us to understand why it happened and push it out and make sure we’re ready for tomorrow.”

For starting pitcher Merrill Kelly, his frustration can largely be attributed to a rough fourth inning.

After cruising through nine batters over the first three frames, Kelly ran into trouble in the form of Jesus Sanchez.

Staring at two on with one out, Kelly and Sanchez battled it out over the seven-pitch at-bat before outfielder sent a 93.1-mph fastball screaming 441 feet to center field.

Another run in the fifth spelled the beginning of the end of Kelly’s afternoon, with the starter lasting six innings and allowing four earned runs on four hits and a walk. He also struck out six.

“I would say we’re a little more down than we had been with a loss this year,” Kelly said postgame. “Losing two out of three with both me and (Zac Gallen) throwing, going into it we looked at it as a pretty good chance to win two out of three.

“But sometimes the ball rolls the other way and just got to clear the air and come back in here tomorrow and try to take it out on the San Francisco Giants.”

Offensively, it was another game to block out of memory for third baseman Josh Rojas following an 0-for-4 effort.

The early days of May have been anything but kind to the infielder, who has gone .083 with a .333 OPS. Rojas has just one hit, two RBIs, three walks and a run scored in five games played this month. He’s struck out five times.

“A couple 0-fors and you start to find something wrong and it turns into a little bit of a scramble up there,” Rojas on his struggles. “The goal is to try to eliminate those and not let them carry on for too long.

“Every day in (batting practice) I felt pretty good. It’s not like I’m showing up to the yard knowing I’m going to struggle. I feel good up there and I’m just not getting the results right now. … Hopefully tomorrow with the new series, I can get it going.”

Frustration ruled the afternoon for Arizona, but there was a bright spot through it all.

Despite a three-run fourth from the Marlins, the D-backs won the frame with four crossing the plate in the bottom of the inning.

How they got there was creative to say the least, with four walks, a balk, an RBI-single and a groundout attributing to Arizona’s offensive output in the inning.

That would be the extent of their offense against an effective Miami pitching staff on Tuesday afternoon.

“I felt like everything was going good. I just think being able to execute and make pitches at the most critical time are the things that we talked about all spring training and it kind of rotates to any part of the game,” Lovullo said.

“Those are things that we’re learning, those are things that we’re continuing to talk about. We’re watching our guys mature and grow. This is a game I felt like to get to where we’re going to we got to find a way to execute and win and slam dunk it.”

The D-backs will need to rid themselves of the bad taste left in their mouths from Wednesday’s matchup quickly with the Giants (16-20) coming to town for a four-game series beginning Thursday.

Game 1 of D-backs-Giants is slated for 5:40 p.m. Catch all the action on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.

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