D-backs maneuver unique pitching situation, bats go cold in loss to Red Sox

May 27, 2023, 8:44 PM

Starting pitcher Zach Davies #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Boston Red Sox dur...

Starting pitcher Zach Davies #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Chase Field on May 27, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Diamondbacks RHP Zach Davies made his return from the injured list at Chase Field on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox, but Arizona lost a pitching staff duel 2-1.

Boston (28-24) catcher Reese McGuire’s go-ahead squeeze with the bases loaded in the fourth inning proved to be the difference in the game, with Arizona’s bats going cold with three hits and no walks.

Davies threw 75 pitches in his first start since April 8 (oblique) and said postgame he felt good physically.

He allowed two earned runs on five hits in 3.1 innings, as D-backs (29-23) manager Torey Lovullo pulled him with an out in the fourth.

The five hits were all singles, four of which were ground balls.

“Glad to be back,” Davies said. “Definitely had a little adrenaline and got away from me a little bit at times, but five singles, most of them ground balls too. I was pleased with going out there and throwing more strikes, that’s the goal and that’s what I’ll be working on in between.”

He exited with two runners aboard, and Kyle Nelson allowed an inherited runner to score on the bunt but kept the damage at a minimum.

The bullpen shut out Boston from there. LHP Tommy Henry came in for the fifth and got four outs on 10 pitches, and Lovullo explained his rationale for using a starter out of the pen after the game.

The D-backs reinstated Davies, called up Drey Jameson and sent down Luis Frias and Brandon Pfaadt on Saturday.

Davies’ start pushed the rotation back a day with Merrill Kelly throwing on Sunday.

Jameson gave the D-backs flexibility, and Lovullo said postgame he had different plans ready depending on how Saturday went.

“We had a couple of versions today,” Lovullo said. “If something happened to Davies to where we were going to need to go into the bullpen, Tommy was there to cover for length today. He was going to throw 100 pitches if needed.

“If Davies got to a certain point, I can maneuver into the bullpen a little bit and keep Tommy at a certain number of pitches. We were going to hold off on Drey and use him in the bullpen in the future days and start Tommy on Wednesday.”

Henry faced five hitters, four lefties.

The plan is for Henry to start on Wednesday, but Lovullo said with a grin he had the right to change his mind.

Austin Adams, Scott McGough and Miguel Castro all did their jobs after Henry to keep the deficit at 2-1.

The offense just never got going.

Ketel Marte hit a solo home run in the top of the first, but the D-backs went 1-for-25 after the opening frame.

A Jake McCarthy double with two outs in the fifth was the only threat Arizona produced, but it proved fruitless.

Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock threw five innings of one-run ball before turning it to the bullpen. Kenley Jansen got the save.

The D-backs have scored three runs in the first two games of this series, and Lovullo feels there’s too much focus on trying to hit for power.

“I think we’re into more of a slug approach I’m seeing rather than just having that all-field approach, taking what the pitcher has given you, getting on base via the base on ball,” Lovullo said. “So over the past couple of games, that’s what we’ve seen.

“So I know our guys are doing it, can do it. I know they’re gonna get back into into that thought process. And we’ll get that line moving and put up some crooked numbers.”

Arizona has three runs scored over its last 25 innings played.

The D-backs have lost three games in a row and their first series since dropping the rubber match to the Miami Marlins on May 10.

Streak watch

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at 17 games. Marte extended his on-base streak to a career-best 26.

Up next

Kelly takes the ball on Sunday against Boston RHP Tanner Houck at 1:10 p.m.

Catch the game on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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