ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs edge Giants in pitchers duel on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s walk-off hit

May 14, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a walkof...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a walkoff double in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks struggled to break through against San Francisco pitcher Logan Webb but still came out with the victory anyway as their pitchers matched the Giants ace in a 2-1 walk-off win at Chase Field on Mother’s Day.

D-backs rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt showed why he is a well-regarded prospect in the system, holding the Giants to one run on one hit in five innings while striking out five and walking three.

The outing followed two starts in which Pfaadt struggled, coming into Sunday’s game having given up 13 runs in 9.2 innings pitched this season.

“I think Brandon Pfaadt’s outing today is a perfect example of all the things we believe in – preparation, trust, commitment,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game.

“He stayed with the plan, he sequenced his pitches very well, fastball command was much improved and he got us through five innings.”

Pfaadt said the difference was getting on top of the fastball and throwing it downhill.

“That was a huge adjustment from the last time,” he said. “I was getting too rushed and in the bullpen, we made that adjustment and I felt good today.”

The lone inning that Pfaadt struggled was the fourth, in which he gave up a solo home run to Michael Conforto on a 3-2 pitch with one out and walked the next two batters before getting out of the inning.

The 24-year-old retired the Giants in order in the fifth inning, ending his day with 86 pitches.

“Overall, I thought at 80-plus pitches, he had done his job, pushed it over to the bullpen and they picked it up from there and they were fantastic,” Lovullo said.

Relievers José Ruiz, Scott McGough and Miguel Castro combined to pitch four innings of shutout ball, only giving up two hits while striking out seven and walking none.

The performance by the bullpen was crucial in the win as Webb held the D-backs bats silent for a majority of the game,

The D-backs threatened Webb in the first inning, loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch and back-to-back walks, but a double play off the bat of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ended Arizona’s chance to get an early run.

“Thought we had a good opportunity in the first inning and then when we didn’t score he just kind of caught a tailwind and shut us down,” Lovullo said.”

Webb proceeded to hold Arizona to one run over the next six innings, which came on an RBI double by Josh Rojas in the fifth inning.

Tyler Rogers took over for Webb and held the D-backs scoreless in the eigth inning, but Arizona would get to the submarine pitcher in the ninth.

Christian Walker began the final frame of regulation with a walk, bringing Gurriel Jr. up to the plate.

Lovullo admitted postgame he was unsure if it was the right move to leave Walker in and not pinch run for him, deciding to instead trust his first baseman’s instincts and ability to read the ball while saying he would have made the move if Walker had got to second base.

Gurriel Jr. stepped up to the plate and made up for the double play in the first inning, lining a ball into the left field corner as Walker hustled around the bases to score the winning run.

The D-backs manager emphasized the importance of winning games despite the other team’s pitcher dominating for a majority of the game like Webb did on Sunday.

“To get to where we’re going, we got to beat guys like that, we got to win games like that,” Lovullo said.

UP NEXT

The D-backs hit the road for a nine-game road trip, beginning with the struggling Oakland Athletics on Monday. RHP Merrill Kelly is set to toe the rubber for the D-backs against Drew Rucinski.

First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

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