It looked like the Arizona Diamondbacks had broken out their slump after coming out with a bang in the first inning of Tuesday’s matchup against San Francisco Giants.
But the team ultimately fell to the Giants 9-8, extending their consecutive road losing streak to 21.
The D-backs got out to an early 7-0 lead after two innings, and though it kept shrinking, held onto that lead until the eighth inning when Mike Yastrzemski hit a grand slam that gave the Giants the win.
“We are fighting and doing as much as we possibly can. When it doesn’t go our way, I hurt for those guys,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.
“I don’t want there to be a negative thought,” he added. “I don’t want things to creep in the guys’ heads, feeling sorry for themselves. This is a big boy league, this is a man’s game. You’ve got to fight and you’ve got to earn and that will never stop.”
Each of the D-backs’ first six batters reached base and the team made it 4-0 off an RBI single by Christian Walker, a bases-loaded walk and a 2-RBI double from David Peralta.
Giants starting pitcher Zack Littell was relieved in the first inning with no outs by Sammy Long, who finished out the inning without surrendering any more runs.
“I think after that first inning, I was already thinking it, like ‘Alright, today’s going to be a good day,’” infielder Josh Rojas said via Zoom.
“We got to the opener, then we got to the lefty pretty early in the second inning. Felt like it was going to be a pretty good day.”
The D-backs came back out in the second to add three more runs to their score — once again from Walker, as well as an RBI ground-rule double by Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Giants responded by tacking on three of their own in the bottom of the second and two in the sixth.
Alex Young made his first start of the season for Arizona. The 27-year-old gave a solid performance, allowing three runs and one walk while striking out two over four innings.
Recent call-up Corbin Martin, the D-backs’ seventh-best rated prospect, came in to relieve Young in the fifth.
The right-hander got into a jam in the fifth with bases loaded, two outs and Wilmer Flores at the plate. Martin escaped the jam when Flores lined out to first base. Martin pitched a total of three innings and allowed two runs.
As the team slogs through a rough stretch, Rojas said in the mood in the locker room is to keep grinding and keep their heads up to overcome the challenges.
“It’s a team game, it’s a team effort,” he said. “Not just one guy or two guys or even three or four. You can’t win with a team like that.
“You’ve got to win with all 26 guys and that’s what they preach. You’ve got to control what you can control, pass it to the next guy and the wins will come.”
The D-backs and Giants face off for game three of their four-game series on Wednesday. Merrill Kelly (5.14 ERA) will take the mound for Arizona.
First pitch is set for 6:45 p.m. Tune to Arizona’s Sports Station 98.7 FM for all the action.