D-backs drop final road game at White Sox, season comes down to final series vs. Astros

Sep 28, 2023, 1:53 PM | Updated: 2:10 pm

Corbin Carroll...

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks slides into third base during the third inning in the game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 28, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense went cold in Thursday’s 3-1 loss at the Chicago White Sox, and their chance to clinch a postseason berth will wait until the final series at Chase Field.

With a win and a Chicago Cubs loss, the D-backs could have punched their ticket Thursday evening. Instead, their magic number remains at two with the Houston Astros coming to town on Friday for the last three contests of the regular season.

Arizona leads the Cubs and Miami Marlins by 1.5 games with the latter two clubs playing Thursday evening. The Astros are in the third AL Wild Card spot 1.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners, setting up a potential season-defining series for both Houston and Arizona.

Two more wins still guarantees a playoff spot for the D-backs.

D-backs’ bullpen day

The D-backs turned to a bullpen game on Thursday with a lack of available starting pitching. Bryce Jarvis started and threw a 1-2-3 first inning before surrendering two runs in the second.

Jarvis walked the lead-off man Yoan Moncada ahead of first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who clubbed a 2-0 fastball for his 21st home run this season.

The rookie’s first MLB start lasted 2.2 innings. Kyle Nelson was next and allowed a solo home run to Moncada in the fourth inning.

From there, the group of relievers locked it down.

Miguel Castro retired all four hitters he faced with three strikeouts, Joe Mantiply sat down five White Sox in a row and Luis Frias followed suit with four up, four down.

They kept the Diamondbacks two at-bats away from coming back, but the offense squandered some early opportunities and never found its footing.

D-backs’ offense goes cold

Corbin Carroll led off the game with a single and a stolen base, although White Sox starter Touki Toussaint stranded him on third with less than two outs.

Carroll knocked his 10th triple of the year in the third inning and scored on a Ketel Marte sacrifice fly, but the D-backs recorded one more hit the rest of the game.

Toussaint bent without breaking with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning after a pair of walks, as he struck out Geraldo Perdomo looking at a curveball.

The Diamondbacks went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

After breaking out for 15 runs and 12 hits in Tuesday’s 15-4 win, the Arizona offense scored four runs on seven hits over the past two games.

D-backs vs. Astros

Arizona turns to its top-end starters to get across the finish line.

Houston right-hander J.P. France (3.83 ERA) is probable to match up against D-backs ace Zac Gallen on Friday. Justin Verlander is lined up to pitch Saturday for the Astros against Arizona’s Merrill Kelly.

Clinching a spot on Thursday would have earned the D-backs greater flexibility with the pitching staff. Gallen and Kelly pitching Friday and Saturday sets them up for Games 2 and 3 in the NL Wild Card Series on normal rest, if they get there.

A D-backs win on Friday could clinch a spot if the Cubs lose Thursday or Friday, so the ability to push Kelly back to Game 1 remains on the table.

Friday’s series opener starts at 6:40 p.m.

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