D-backs blanked by Mariners to end homestand: ‘We should never be shut out’

Jul 30, 2023, 5:36 PM

Diamondbacks Mariners...

Starting pitcher Luis Castillo #58 of the Seattle Mariners reacts to Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 30, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks never got a runner past second base in Sunday’s 4-0 loss against the Seattle Mariners to end the homestand 2-4.

The D-backs (56-50) have now been shutout twice this season, both in July, and the offense put up six runs in three games against the Mariners.

Seattle (54-51) jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning, and the D-backs had one at-bat the rest of the game with the tying run at the plate. Mariners starter Luis Castillo went six shutout innings with two hits allowed and seven strikeouts.

Arizona starting pitcher Merrill Kelly and manager Torey Lovullo shared a similar message about trying to do too much with the team scuffling through the worst month of its season (7-15).

“Four games back going into today with how bad we’ve been the last month, I think shows how good of a team we’ve been and shows how good of a first half that we had,” Kelly said.

“Pressure is a privilege, but we we can’t focus on that, we’ve got to come in every day and everybody’s just got to do their job. Sometimes when teams go on stretches like this, everybody wants to be that guy to have the big hit or have the big game to jumpstart the winning streak again. I think when you do that you start pressing a little bit instead of just focusing on the little things that go into every at-bat and every pitch.”

Lovullo said the D-backs should never get shut out the way they did Sunday, a game in which they produced three hits and struck out 12 times.

The top five hitters in the order — Geraldo Perdomo, Ketel Marte, Corbin Carroll, Christian Walker and Dominic Canzone — combined for a 1-for-18 day with eight strikeouts. The lone hit was an infield single by Marte. Canzone lined into double plays twice with Walker getting picked off first.

“I try to come up here and be as positive as possible … but it’s not okay,” Lovullo said. “This isn’t okay right now, I’m not gonna lie. We’re much better than what I’ve watched over the past three weeks, and we’ll figure this out.”

Putting together a complete game both offensively and pitching has eluded the D-backs throughout their current 2-8 stretch. They are 0-4 in their last 10 games when scoring five or more runs and 2-3 when allowing five or fewer.

Merrill Kelly’s outing

Kelly ran into trouble early, walking lead-off man J.P. Crawford and allowing a single to Julio Rodriguez.

Seattle had the bases loaded with two outs in the first, and Kelly walked the game’s first run in. The Mariners went up 2-0 in the first and extended the lead with a solo homer by Crawford in the second.

Kelly threw 41 pitches in the first inning and finished the second at 55. From there, he tossed three scoreless frames, retiring his final eight batters faced.

“I think it was just kind of one of those days it took me a little bit to get into the rhythm and the flow of the game,” Kelly said. “I can’t really put my finger on it today … After the first I felt more comfortable with the delivery and timing and everything. Other than the Crawford home run in the second, after the first everything was pretty good.”

Kelly said he felt strong physically in his second start back from the injured list, where he spent nearly a month due to a blood clot in his lower right leg. The veteran mentioned feeling fatigued toward the end of his last start on Tuesday but said he could have gone six innings Sunday.

His final line was five innings, three earned runs, seven hits, two walks and six strikeouts on 90 pitches.

What’s next?

The Diamondbacks hit the road for seven games starting Monday against the San Francisco Giants. Arizona faces its division foes four times before heading to Minnesota for a three-game series against the Twins.

Monday is the final game ahead of the MLB trade deadline Tuesday at 3 p.m.

The D-backs’ probables vs. the Giants:

– Monday: Ryne Nelson

– Tuesday: Zac Gallen

– Wednesday: TBA

– Thursday: Brandon Pfaadt

Monday’s game starts at 6:45 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and  

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