Diamondbacks use 3 relievers in 9th inning to close out Mariners

Jul 29, 2023, 9:57 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm

Scott McGough...

Relief pitcher Scott McGough #30 of the Arizona Diamondbacks and catcher Carson Kelly #18 celebrate after defeating the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in the MLB game at Chase Field on July 29, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — It took two pitching changes, but the Arizona Diamondbacks escaped the ninth inning of Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners at Chase Field.

D-backs (56-49) manager Torey Lovullo called it a “classic case of over managing,” as he removed Kevin Ginkel with one out in the inning. Ginkel struck out the side in the eighth and was at 19 pitches when Lovullo turned to Andrew Chafin.

The southpaw allowed a triple to left-handed hitter Cade Marlowe to start his first outing after a blown save Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals. He picked up a strikeout but walked lefty J.P. Crawford to bring up Mariners (53-51) All-Star Julio Rodriguez.

Lovullo went to the bullpen again for Scott McGough, who struck out Rodriguez with a splitter in an eight-pitch at-bat to end the game.

“There’s logic in my head in a lot of the decisions that I’m making, I’m asking questions around me, I have information in front of me,” Lovullo said. “I’m trying to get everybody involved and get people into a game and get them on a roll. … But Ginkel is on a roll.”

Lovullo said he thought about Ginkel being at 28-30 pitches when the top of the order came around, which would not have happened if the righty recorded the next two outs.

“I gotta readjust my thought there, he’s gonna get three quick outs and be available tomorrow,” Lovullo said.

Ginkel picked up saves in three of Arizona’s four wins since the All-Star break (4-10), but Lovullo turned to Chafin for save opportunities twice this week. The righty allowed one earned run in his last 16 innings during a turbulent stretch for the bullpen as a whole.

The Diamondbacks have used their closer role by committee all season, but the ninth inning has been a sore spot for the bullpen with a 5.57 ERA entering Saturday.

D-backs rookies complete comeback

The D-backs had the go-ahead run 90 feet away with an out in the bottom of the eighth with Dominic Canzone digging in. The score was 3-3 after Arizona erased a three-run deficit.

Corbin Carroll stole third base without a throw after leading off the inning with a walk and advancing on a balk — although he would have stolen second base, anyway.

Canzone said he looked to lift the ball but adjusted to a 100 mph fastball with arm-side sinking action and chopped it up the middle. The rookie pumped his arms and yelled as he reached first base.

The 25-year-old delivered two RBI singles on Saturday and has hit safely in six consecutive games. He’s come up big for Arizona late in games, notably with the go-ahead single in the 16-13 marathon versus the Atlanta Braves and a three-run homer to give the D-backs a late lead the following game.

He was 2-for-18 out of the gate with limited playing time but has produced with more regular at-bats this week.

“Obviously a slow start, had had a little bit of jitters and then just got back to doing what I was doing,” Canzone said. “A lot of help from the guys and some off days here and there to discuss a few things from an approach standpoint. So everything’s been good since then.”

The comeback started in the fourth inning, as Christian Walker broke the shutout against Seattle’s Bryan Woo with an RBI double to right-center field. It was Walker’s 10th run batted in over his last 11 games, and Canzone singled him in.

Alek Thomas led off the fifth with a triple to right-center field, and Carson Kelly hit a line drive single to tie the game.

The Diamondbacks were 3-for-8 with runners in scoring position Saturday after an 0-for-7 performance in Friday’s 5-2 loss.

Brandon Pfaadt’s outing

Pfaadt finished with 5.2 innings, three earned runs, eight hits and three strikeouts on 85 pitches. He exited with a runner on third base and two outs in the sixth, and Kyle Nelson delivered a strikeout to end the inning.

The rookie surrendered five hits across the second, third and fourth innings, with Seattle scoring on a pair of sacrifice fly balls and the Murphy homer.

He was one out away from his second straight quality start and was excited about the performance after the game.

“I think locating and attacking guys, still getting two strikes as quick as possible (were the positives),” Pfaadt said. “I think positive outcomes are coming.”

Pfaadt threw less than 40% four-seam fastball as he did last weekend against the Cincinnati Reds after getting called back up. He leaned heavier on sweepers (32%) and sinkers (15%).

He struggled mightily to limit damage in his first six MLB starts, but his last two amount for 11.2 innings and six earned runs, a step in the right direction.

Saturday’s win snapped a two-game skid and sets the D-backs up to finish their six-game homestand .500 if they can take care of business on Sunday.

Arizona has one more game at Chase Field before hitting the road for seven contests starting with four against the San Francisco Giants.


Chase Field was packed with an announced attendance of 44,472. The stadium hosted Star Wars Night and kids free weekend.

What’s next

Sunday’s rubber match will hold a matchup between Merrill Kelly and Mariners ace Luis Castillo (3.02 ERA).

Kelly will make his second start since returning from the injured list with a blood clot in his leg. He tossed six innings of one-run ball against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

First pitch will air on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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