ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks’ Brandon Pfaadt lit up early in series finale loss to Rays

Jun 29, 2023, 7:33 PM

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ series finale loss to the Tampa Bay Rays was one to forget for starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt.

After impressing over his last few starts in Triple-A, Pfaadt was unable to garner much of that same success in a 6-1 defeat at Chase Field. With the loss, the D-backs have dropped back-to-back series.

His first start since May was a quick one, with the pitcher allowing all six of Tampa Bay’s runs on seven hits and two walks to three strikeouts over two innings pitched. He is now 0-3 across six starts this season.

“I was watching Brandon Pfaadt early in the game and it just looked like he was aggressive with his fastball, threw some quality secondary stuff,” skipper Torey Lovullo said postgame. “I felt like we were on to something we had talked about and he went down and made improvements. That’s really the name of the game for me.

“Unfortunately, giving up the (six runs) didn’t look great. I know that. We’re going to continue to evaluate why and how it happened. It wasn’t anything we thought would happen.”

Despite the final line, Pfaadt looked to be on the up and up through two innings.

Outside of a solo shot in the first frame, Pfaadt appeared to be settling in. His 13-pitch second inning that featured back-to-back strikeouts said as much.

All those good feelings, however, wouldn’t last much longer thanks to a disastrous third inning that ended up being the deciding factor on Thursday.

Failing to record an out before his departure, Pfaadt watched as the Rays’ one-run lead ballooned to six in the third. Tampa Bay was methodical in its approach, with the seven batters reaching base consecutively.

Vidal Brujan kicked things off with a ground-rule double before a walk and a Wander Franco triple brought in a pair. Luke Raley was then hit by a pitch and Harold Ramirez brought another run home with an RBI-single in the following at-bat. Another walk and a two-run single from Josh Lowe would spell the end to Pfaadt’s day.

“I felt really good. I think the first two innings showed that,” Pfaadt said. “Then the third inning came along and obviously, we hit a wall. It was not something we were expecting based on the way it felt.”

For now, it’s back to the drawing board for Pfaadt.

The good news? the D-backs bullpen — Austin Adams, Kyle Nelson, Jose Ruiz and Drey Jameson — did not surrender another run in place of Pfaadt.

The bad news? The D-backs only mustered one run throughout the afternoon in the form of a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. home run in the seventh inning.

“It just wasn’t clicking,” Lovullo said. “The day was a little bit off, I’ll be honest with you. I think there was a little big of a hangover from last night which are some of the things we try to avoid here.

“But it was a grinding loss yesterday with a quick turnaround. We got pounced on for (six runs) and we just couldn’t catch up.”

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