SAN FRANCISCO (AP)The San Francisco Giants were counting on coming back to the Bay Area and building some momentum from two impressive wins at San Diego last weekend.
Instead, the defending NL West champions flopped at home again – this time against a team that was 10 games under .500.
For the past three weeks Ketel Marte’s tender left hamstring has limited him to designated hitter for the Diamondbacks, but his hustle to beat out a throw wound up keying a rally in Arizona’s 4-3 win against the scuffling Giants on Monday night.
Marte was safe at first in the third inning on an attempted inning-ending double play, and Daulton Varsho hit a two-run single four batters later to make it 3-0.
”Just trying to string wins together at this point,” discouraged San Francisco starter Alex Cobb said. ”It’s frustrating to lose the game the way we did. I felt like we had all the momentum in the world coming out of San Diego with these two wins the last couple days.”
David Peralta and Sergio Alcantara also singled in runs as Arizona did just enough to back Merrill Kelly (8-5) in his second consecutive win.
Kelly pitched into the eighth but gave up a leadoff walk to LaMonte Wade Jr. All-Star reliever Joe Mantiply allowed pinch-hitter Darin Ruf’s infield single, an RBI double to Wilmer Flores and pinch-hitter Austin Slater’s RBI groundout.
”The way it lined up it felt like we were about to break the game open,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
Mantiply was done after a one-out walk to Luis Gonzalez. Noe Ramirez entered and walked David Villar to load the bases before inducing Brandon Crawford’s inning-ending double play – the Giants challenged the out calls at first and second and both were confirmed.
Mark Melancon closed it out against his former club for his 12th save.
Kelly dueled with Cobb (3-4) again after the two also matched up last Wednesday in the desert. Cobb, facing Arizona at home for the first time, saw his winless stretch reach seven starts since he won at Colorado on May 17.
The Giants (43-42) lost their fifth straight at Oracle Park. San Francisco is in the midst of 17 games in a row and started a seven-game homestand that takes the club into the All-Star break.
FIRST TRIP TO THE BAY
In a strange scheduling twist this lockout-delayed season, this marks the Diamondbacks’ first Bay Area visit of the year – yes, in almost mid-July.
”We saw them for the first time last week. It’s July and we haven’t seen a team in our division,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
The Giants were 9-0 in the series at home last year.
Diamondbacks: RHP Ian Kennedy threw a bullpen Saturday and used all his pitches as he tests his inflamed right calf. He reported no pain and is on schedule to return after the All-Star break. ”He’s feeling very, very good. Everything’s where it’s supposed to be,” Lovullo said. ”We’re targeting sometime after the break.” … RHP J.B. Bukauskas, on the 60-day injured list with a strained pitching shoulder, threw 11 pitches in one inning Saturday with Triple-A Reno and continues to make good progress.
Giants: LHP Jose Alvarez (pitching elbow) was examined by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki over the weekend and will rest and receive treatment. … RHP Anthony DeSclafani was set for surgery on his right ankle Tuesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The recovery is expected to be four to five months. … 3B Evan Longoria (left oblique strain) is expected to begin a rehab assignment Thursday. … RHP Jakob Junis (left hamstring strain) pitched in an Arizona Complex League game. Both Longoria and Junis could be ready to return before the All-Star break, but Kapler sounded as if the preference would be to build up Junis so he could start and pitch five innings.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-6, 7.63 ERA) pitches the middle game of the series Tuesday night and seeks his first career win against the Giants after going 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA over three outings. San Francisco counters with RHP Logan Webb (7-3, 2.98).
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