ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Pavin Smith smashes walk-off HR for D-backs win vs. Giants

Jun 3, 2024, 9:08 PM | Updated: 10:17 pm

Pavin Smith #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks doubles against the Texas Rangers during the second inn...

Pavin Smith #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks doubles against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Field on May 28, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks made a few huge defensive plays to be in a position to win Monday night’s game late and they did just that against the San Francisco Giants in a 4-2 walk-off victory.

After Jake McCarthy’s one-out double put Arizona in a solid position for the bottom of the ninth inning in a 2-2 ball game, Pavin Smith pinch hit for Eugenio Suarez. That was a wise move by D-backs manager Torey Lovullo. Smith smashed a hanging pitch over the heart of the plate to deep center field for the home run to end it.

It was Smith’s second home run of the season and the first pinch-hit walk-off dinger by a D-back since 2019. The lefty has been much more of a situational hitter for Arizona after spending a good amount of time the previous three seasons filling in gaps in the outfield and at designated hitter.

D-backs starter Ryne Nelson threw 7.2 innings of two-run baseball, a career high for him in innings and also the longest outing for a D-back this season. Arizona had a 2-0 lead off a solo dinger for Loures Gurriel Jr. and an RBI single for Blaze Alexander before San Francisco mustered two runs off Nelson to tie the game.

A few Arizona fielders made key defensive plays in the field to save some runs, perhaps none bigger than Christian Walker’s jump and tag in the top of the ninth inning on a poor throw by Suarez to keep the game tied.

 

Arizona made a notable change in the lineup on Monday, moving catcher Gabriel Moreno to the two-hole in place of Corbin Carroll, who was slotted all the way down to eighth. Carroll’s OPS entered the day at .563, one of the worst in baseball, and has been below .600 since late April. Moreno’s been among the struggling D-backs as well but not to that degree.

Lovullo said pregame that Carroll will now spend more time in that region of the lineup against left-handed pitching, with San Francisco using a lefty opener to begin Monday’s game. Moreno was 1-for-4 while Carroll was 0-for-2.

San Francisco came into the season with a few concerning injuries on the pitching staff and those problems have spread to the batting order. Prized outfield signing Jung Hoon Lee is out for the season and catcher Tom Murphy went on the 60-day injured list in early May. First baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. is on the 10-day IL along with the shortstop pair of Nick Ahmed and Marco Luciano. Outfielder Michael Conforto just returned from the 10-day IL on Monday but second baseman Thairo Estrada has been out since Saturday.

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