Merrill Kelly gets hit around, D-backs drop series to surging Giants

Jun 24, 2023, 3:52 PM | Updated: 4:50 pm

Jake McCarthy...

Jake McCarthy (R) #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides to steal second base ahead of the tag from Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants in the top of the fifth inning at Oracle Park on June 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks dropped the first two games in San Francisco against the Giants, falling 7-6 on Saturday.

D-backs (46-32) starter Merrill Kelly did not escape the sixth inning for the first time this month, as the Giants (44-33) tagged him for seven runs, five earned, on 10 hits.

A Luis Matos two-run shot — the 21-year-old’s first career home run — in the sixth inning ended Kelly’s day at 87 pitches with the score 7-5.

Kelly had been especially effective on the road this season entering Saturday with a 1.98 ERA in seven starts, all wins for Arizona.

The veteran did not get the swings and misses he’s been able to rack up this year, though, and the Giants put 22 balls in play.

The game was back-and-forth over the first six innings, and Arizona had a chance late to tie or take the lead.

The Giants trailed 3-1 and 5-3 before tying the game in the fifth and then taking the lead for good on Matos’ moment.

A Corbin Carroll dropped fly ball with a runner on a no outs opened the door for the Giants to pick up two unearned runs off Kelly in the first inning.

Carroll took his eyes off the baseball to find the runner on second base, and the ball bounced off his glove. Joc Pederson got the run home with a ground out, and Michael Conforto continued to punish the D-backs with an RBI double. Conforto drove home four runs in Friday’s 8-5 Giants win over Arizona.

The Giants started Ryan Walker as an opener for a bullpen game, and Ketel Marte took him deep to right in the first inning. San Francisco turned to Keaton Winn, who shut out the D-backs for his first three innings.

The D-backs chased Winn in the fifth inning, though, with three straight hits capped by a Marte RBI single.

Marte has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games batting second in the order.

Christian Walker came up with the bases loaded and worked a 3-2 count on a borderline 2-2 sinker called a ball. Walker then belted a middle-middle sinker from Sean Manaea into the left-center field gap that scored all three runners, giving Arizona a 5-3 lead.

Walker entered the game tied for fifth in the NL with 20 doubles and he added a pair on Saturday. He’s riding a nine-game hitting streak with five multi-hit efforts.

But the Giants bounced right back with two runs off Kelly in the fifth to tie the game before retaking the lead in the sixth.

The D-backs got the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the ninth off Giants closer Camilo Doval.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. stepped in with runners on the corners and two outs and singled home a run. That set up Pavin Smith with the game-tying run 90 feet away, but he struck out swinging.

Arizona had four players with multiple hits: Geraldo Perdomo, Marte, Walker and Jake McCarthy. The D-backs also stranded nine base runners in the defeat.

The Giants climbed to within 1.5 games of the D-backs on Saturday with their 12th win in 13 games.

Up next

The series wraps up Sunday with Ryne Nelson on the hill against San Francisco’s Anthony DeSclafani. Nelson allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings against the Giants on May 12, while DeSclafani surrendered three runs in five innings at Chase Field on May 13.

First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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