ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Where the D-backs stand in postseason race after blowing opportunity in loss to Yankees

Sep 25, 2023, 1:26 PM | Updated: 2:35 pm

Torey Lovullo...

Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks argues a call against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks blew three leads against the New York Yankees in a 6-4 loss on Monday, as the bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth inning.

The D-backs (82-74) dropped two of three games at Yankee Stadium but still control their own destiny in the hunt for a postseason berth. There are six games remaining, and their magic number is six.

The Diamondbacks had an opportunity to create a little distance in the National League Wild Card race, as they were the only club in the picture with a game on Monday.

Arizona’s young bats gave them the three leads: Alek Thomas drove in two runs with a double in the first inning, Gabriel Moreno knocked in Corbin Carroll to go up 3-2 in the seventh and Carroll delivered a go-ahead knock in the eighth, making it 4-3.

Thomas also robbed Yankees star Aaron Judge at the wall in the seventh inning to keep the score tied, and shortstop prospect Jordan Lawlar hit the deck twice to make plays on defense.

The bullpen had been stellar of late with two earned runs in its last 27.2 innings, but it faltered at a inopportune time in the context of their season.

Ryan Thompson had not allowed a run in 10 innings with Arizona, but he surrendered a game-tying solo shot to Oswald Peraza in the seventh inning.

Kevin Ginkel had a 1.37 ERA over his previous 39.1 innings before Monday, but four of his first five hitters reached base in the eighth inning, including a bases loaded walk to tie the game.

New York’s Estevan Florial produced the game-winning sacrifice fly.

D-backs righty Miguel Castro entered to clean the mess, but he let in an inherited runner, and Ginkel — who threw 28 pitches on Sunday — was tagged with three earned runs.

The bullpen allowed four runs in three innings on what was another cold and rainy day in New York.

D-backs starter Merrill Kelly kept the D-backs in position to win with five innings and two earned runs.

Kelly racked up pitches early with 34 in the first inning. Lead-off man DJ LeMahieu worked an 11-pitch at-bat and singled, but Kelly stranded two runners.

His blemish came from a two-run shot by catcher — and former Arizona Wildcat — Austin Wells in the fourth inning.

The veteran right-hander’s day ended with a Judge strikeout in the bottom of the fifth. His book closed with five innings, two earned runs, four hits, two walks and five strikeouts on 96 pitches.

Kelly has thrown 11.2 innings with three earned runs over his last two starts and is set to pitch one more time in the regular season next weekend against the Houston Astros.

Look at NL Wild Card standings

The D-backs are now tied with the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card spot with the Miami Marlins one game back. Arizona has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Chicago but not Miami, which is why the magic number is six and not five.

Chicago gets the Atlanta Braves next, and Miami faces the New York Mets.

D-backs visit White Sox

The Diamondbacks head to Chicago for three games against the 60-96 White Sox. It is Arizona’s final road series of the regular season.

Zach Davies will start for the D-backs against Chicago’s Jose Urena in Tuesday’s series opener. Brandon Pfaadt is probable for Arizona on Wednesday.

First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com. 

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