D-backs’ Jordan Montgomery chucks PitchCom off wall after frustrating loss to Twins

Jun 27, 2024, 6:02 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm

Pitching coach Brent Strom...

Pitching coach Brent Strom #72 talks with starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Chase Field on June 27, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks played what manager Torey Lovullo described as one of their worst games of the season Thursday for a 13-6 loss against the Minnesota Twins.

Recent D-backs losses have had a tendency to get out of hand, as eight of their last 10 defeats have been blowouts (five or more runs).

The Twins (45-36) were up 8-0 three innings in, and Arizona starter Jordan Montgomery took out his frustration by chucking a PitchCom device against the dugout wall multiple times after getting booed off the field. He allowed eight runs (four earned) and was removed in the third inning.

“I don’t do that often, but sometimes you just got to,” Montgomery said. “I don’t think (the PitchCom) is going to survive it.”

The left-hander only recorded eight outs and threw 74 pitches. The Twins peppered him with line drives and sharp grounders — as they did to Ryne Nelson on Wednesday — and scored six runs in the second inning. Montgomery said against a swing-happy lineup, he could have thrown from offspeed to use that aggression against them.

“You get them on the ground and just seems like everything found a hole or was just out of reach,” Montgomery said. “Those are usually outs and when they’re not, a good lineup like that is gonna make it hurt … You start going for the strikeout and then you start throwing balls and then you’re in bad counts. Then you hang one and it gets touched.”

Montgomery’s ERA increased to 6.03 14 starts into his D-backs tenure after signing a $25 million contract at the start of the season. He said his pitches have felt sharp and he is healthy, but he has to keep working to find more consistent success.

The 31-year-old put together three-straight solid starts entering Thursday (16.2 innings, five runs), but he has allowed at least six runs four times already this year.

Montgomery called this the toughest season of his career, and it comes at a time the D-backs are most desperate for some stability on the mound with their injuries.

“I just expect a lot out of myself,” Montgomery said. “I know I’ve let a lot of my teammates down. I’m just trying to be better.”

“I could tell he’s frustrated,” Lovullo said. “I think he has not hit his stride yet, and I think him trying to get there is what will motivate him every single day. Do I sense frustration? Yes, and I know he’s much better. I don’t want him to worry about showing us that he has to be better. … He’s got four days before his next start, and we’re going to need him again.”

This has been a difficult cycle through the starting rotation (1-4 team record):

  • Tommy Henry: 3.2 IP, 6 ER
  • Slade Cecconi: 3.0 IP, 1 ER
  • Brandon Pfaadt: 6.1 IP, 4 ER
  • Ryne Nelson: 3.2 IP, 6 ER
  • Jordan Montgomery: 2.2 IP, 4 ER

It has stressed the bullpen, thus Arizona will look to make a roster move ahead of the weekend.

Diamondbacks defense stumbles

Montgomery’s defense did not do many favors. Kevin Newman got his first start at third base this year, and two runs scored on his throwing error. A catcher’s interference by Jose Herrera did not help, nor did a pair of miscues from Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left field.

Arizona tied its season high for runs allowed in a single game.

“These are the kind of games that leave you super frustrated for a lot of different reasons,” Lovullo said. “It wasn’t a clean game. It was probably one of our worst games of the year. … It wasn’t just one thing, one person, one part of our team. This was a team loss, and we got to be better than that.”

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton gave the Twins an 11-0 lead on a 456-foot home run off Scott McGough.

Twins’ Festa strong early in MLB debut

Minnesota ran out 24-year-old pitching prospect David Festa for his MLB debut, and working with a sizable lead gave him a low-pressure first foray. The D-backs had no answers until Ketel Marte homered in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 11-1.

Arizona rallied for four runs in the inning with RBI knocks from Newman, Geraldo Perdomo and Herrera.

Marte, Gurriel and Perdomo had multi-hit games, but the hole was too great for this to become a competitive game.

“I think we saw some things in the first go-around with a rookie pitcher, and then the second time started to clean some things up and we put some really good at-bats on them,” Lovullo said. “I felt we had a chance to score eight to 10 runs … and we had some opportunities to get there, but we never quite did.”

What is next for the Diamondbacks?

The D-backs face the Oakland Athletics in a three-game series starting Friday night. Slade Cecconi will start for Arizona against Oakland left-hander JP Sears.

D-backs ace Zac Gallen (hamstring) threw a 41-pitch bullpen on Thursday, and he is expected to return from the injured list on Saturday.

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