SAN FRANCISCO - Hours before first pitch, many of the Arizona Diamondbacks were busy working in an outdoor weight room at Oracle Park as others prepared for their pregame fielding drills.
The little things aren’t leading to winning results right now, which makes the constant losing all the more painful. Manager Torey Lovullo is searching for answers from his own staff as well as baseball friends everywhere who might offer something that works.
Arizona dropped its 22nd straight road game on the night of June 16, matching the 1963 Mets and ’43 Philadelphia Athletics for the major league record with a 13-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
"This is obviously nothing that we ever expected, nothing that we’re proud of, and we can’t reverse anything that’s happened over the past 40-plus days," Lovullo said. "We’ve got to find a way to win a baseball game tomorrow."
Buster Posey hit a three-run homer in a first inning that lasted 43 minutes, while Steven Duggar and LaMonte Wade Jr. connected in the fourth as San Francisco sent its NL West rival to a 13th consecutive loss overall. Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores added a two-run drive in the fifth and Brandon Belt hit his ninth homer that inning.
Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani (7-2) pitched a two-hit shutout against the Nationals on June 11 and followed that with another impressive performance to win his third straight start. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits, struck out five and walked one over five innings.
Cabrera homered and Ketel Marte hit a two-run double in the D-backs’ five-run sixth.
"It’s really hard because we’ve been working hard every day," third baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera said. "I feel bad for me and my teammates because I know we’re working hard."
Arizona jumped ahead 2-0 in the first against DeSclafani — but that could hardly feel comfortable for the D-backs a day after they squandered a 7-0 advantage when Mike Yastrzemski hit a grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning for a 9-8 Giants’ victory.
"I think last night helped us remember, or a better way to put that is reminded us, that we have big innings in us and we have the ability to grind out at-bats and wear pitchers down," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.
On Wednesday, Josh Rojas hit the third pitch of the game for a double and scored moments later on Wade’s error in left field when he overran a liner by Marte. Eduardo Escobar doubled to left one out later.
After Brandon Crawford’s one-out walk in the first, D-backs catcher Stephen Vogt tried six pickoff attempts at first before Donovan Solano’s swinging strikeout. Jason Vosler followed with an RBI double against Arizona righty Merrill Kelly (2-7).
Kelly, who entered the game holding opponents to a .235 average over his previous four road starts, was knocked out after three innings. He had three of his team’s nine walks.
"We’re all searching for those types of answers," Kelly said of what’s not working. "... At the end of the day this is our job. Whether we like it or not, whether things are going the way that we want them to go, there’s nowhere to hide. We’ve got to come in tomorrow and try our best to forget about today and do the things that we need to do or do the things that we think we need to do in order to try to win tomorrow."
Former Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros caught the ceremonial first pitch for L.A.’s top rival thrown by Spencer Milken on his birthday. The teen is the grandson of Michael Milken, who works closely with MLB’s Home Run Challenge, and Karros is an ambassador for Milken’s Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke, who went on the injured list Tuesday with a strained muscle in his pitching shoulder, told the team of the discomfort he was experiencing but Lovullo remains optimistic about Clarke making a strong comeback. "He’s on the mend, I don’t know what the time frame is," Lovullo said. "We’re all encouraged about where he is. ... We’re going to miss him."
Giants: RHP John Brebbia, working back from Tommy John surgery, pitched back-to-back days Monday and Tuesday for Triple-A Sacramento at Tacoma and is expected to pitch again Saturday after a few days off. "Everything went according to plan and I think he’s bouncing back well," Kapler said.
Dbacks RHP Zac Gallen (1-1, 3.04 ERA) is set to return from the injured list from a sprained pitching elbow to start the series finale Thursday afternoon, his sixth appearance of the year and first since May 7.
"Feeling good, feeling strong, worked on the things that we thought were giving me some trouble, tried to clean those up," Gallen said. "Excited to get back."
RHP Kevin Gausman (7-1, 1.43) pitches for San Francisco.
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