‘Total outlier:’ D-backs suffer season-worst defeat after triumph vs. Phillies

Jun 13, 2023, 10:52 PM

Jake McCarthy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks drops the ball while attempting a diving catch during...

Jake McCarthy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks drops the ball while attempting a diving catch during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field on June 13, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — At least Josh Rojas had fun.

The Arizona Diamondbacks infielder tried his hand on the mound for the first time as a big leaguer in the ninth inning of a 15-3 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

Rojas wiggled like Luis Tiant or Johnny Cueto to give the remaining fans something to watch as the win streak ended at six games.

For manager Torey Lovullo, Tuesday was an outlier that needed to be thrown away.

“I’m not too worried about this outcome,” Lovullo said. “A few things we’ve got to tighten up, we didn’t play great defensively, made some miscues and just everything was kind of wobbly all the way through the entire day.”

The D-backs outscored opponents 48-26 during the win streak and closed out a dramatic 9-8 victory on Monday to open the four-game set against Philadelphia. 

The Phillies jumped at the opportunity to put Monday’s result behind them, as Kyle Schwarber led off the game with a mammoth 450-foot solo shot to right.

The game spiraled quickly. Starting pitcher Zach Davies lasted three innings and 85 pitches, exiting down 6-0 with four earned runs allowed.

Six hits and three walks were no help, but neither was the defense behind him. An error by third baseman Emmanuel Rivera in the first led to a pair of unearned runs. Center fielder Jake McCarthy misread a ball in the third that dropped for a lead-off hit and Corbin Carroll – amid a stretch that has earned him NL MVP momentum – had a rookie moment in forgetting the number of outs.

He caught a shallow fly and turned around to grab his hat, which gave baserunner J.T. Realmuto the chance to score with ease.

“Things happen every once in a while that you just can’t explain in this game,” Lovullo said. “We have very heady baseball players and Corbin is probably the top of the class when it comes to paying attention and understanding what’s going on. He just lost track of the outs.”

It was a rare sour performance for the D-backs defensively, as they entered the game tied for third in MLB with 10 outs above average.

Controlling the running game became problematic, as well. The Phillies stole four bases on as many attempts against Davies and catcher Carson Kelly, who started his second game in a row after returning from the 60-day injured list.

Lovullo said he wants Kelly to get going as quickly as possible after he missed the first 65 games.

“It’s not just on Carson, the pitchers have got to get the ball to the plate on time, so those are little things that we’re talking about that we need to tighten up a little bit,” Lovullo said. “I’m not worried about Carson, he’s an accurate thrower. His catch and release is just fine.”

Jose Ruiz and Joe Mantiply went multiple innings each, with the latter tossing 48 pitches.

Lovullo said he was comfortable with Mantiply going 45 pitches in his first outing since May 8, and the southpaw fought to stay in the game for one more batter to complete his third inning.

It helped keep the rest of the pen fresh, and while Lovullo said he does not like using position players on the mound and waving the white flag, his bullpen will be close to fully loaded on Wednesday.

Rojas enjoyed his experience but wished he did not give up a run, let alone four.

“I wanted to let it eat a little bit more, but I didn’t get to warm up like in the cage or anything, so I just played it safe,” Rojas said. “I went with the lob ball a little bit too many times and they were teeing off on that one.”

Christian Walker provided the punch offensively, but Wheeler handled the rest of the lineup.

Walker entered the game 6-for-14 against Wheeler and went 3-for-3 with two doubles off him, driving in Arizona’s first run with a double in the sixth.

By the seventh-inning stretch, when the Phillies removed Wheeler, Walker had three of the D-backs’ four hits and he finished 4-for-4.

The rest of the team was 1-for-19 with a bloop double from Rojas the lone hit off Wheeler. The veteran right-hander struck out seven batters and walked one in the gem.

It wasn’t until the Phillies bullpen entered when others on the D-backs started to barrel the ball. McCarthy tripled and scored in the seventh, and Carroll hit a solo home run in the eighth.

Carroll has an extra-base hit in five of six games.

Staying ready

Outfielder Kyle Lewis came off the 10-day injured list after two months on Monday and was optioned to Triple-A Reno. Lovullo explained that Lewis did everything he was asked, but Arizona feels confident in its position players on the big league team.

Lovullo wants to see Lewis continue getting reps in order to be ready if needed.

Druw Jones update

The D-backs sent No. 2 prospect Druw Jones on a rehab assignment in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, according to the MiLB transactions list.

Jones, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft, has been on the seven-day injured list since April 22.

Triple-A Reno, meanwhile, activated No. 8 prospect Blaze Alexander from the 60-day IL after he broke his thumb on a hit-by-pitch. Alexander homered in his return.

Up next

The D-backs get two more cracks at the Phillies this week, and Merrill Kelly will take the hill on Wednesday evening. Kelly has thrown three straight quality starts and has a 2.56 ERA since May 15.

The Phillies will send out southpaw Ranger Suarez.

First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and

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