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The SF Giants were eliminated by the Diamondbacks for a 5th consecutive loss

PHOENIX — The Giants aren’t playing their worst baseball of the season. They hit the road after a .500 home game against the two best teams in the sport. And yet, after a 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks to begin their series Monday night, their losing skid reached five straight games throughout the season.

“Now that you mention it,” manager Bob Melvin said afterward, “I didn’t even think about it.”

Called on to hit Randy Rodriguez with the score tied at 2 in the bottom of the ninth, Pavin Smith launched a two-run home run that cleared the tall center field wall and sent the Giants to their second straight loss in a game that They were leading or even starting their last round.

It wasn’t as demoralizing as a late loss should be, much less for a team that hasn’t won since Tuesday.

“We had a good home series (against the Phillies) and we got crushed a little bit (by the Yankees),” Melvin said. “But I don’t think it affected us at all.”

After stranding the go-ahead run 90 feet when a replay review went the other way, the Giants surrendered the bottom half of the inning to their young flamethrower reliever, who struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. struck out to start the round, but served two. forehands to end the game.

The loss was the Giants’ fifth in a row, bringing them to 29-32, but it was the first in the streak to come against an opponent below .500 or even not leading their own division. They led the Yankees (42-19) entering the ninth inning on Sunday, followed by a single entering the eighth the day before and took two of three from the Phillies (42-19).

In this case, it came down to an overturned call in the top half of the ninth that negated the Giants’ go-ahead run.

“With the replay,” Melvin said, “literally a game of inches.”

Early on, it looked like Matt Chapman was poised to score the go-ahead run and Heliot Ramos was poised to become the obvious player of the game with his second hit of the night to put the third baseman in scoring position. a pair of running catches in right field.

With two outs and Chapman at third, Jorge Soler bounced a ground ball to third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who fired high to first, removing Christian Walker from the bag. First base umpire Brian Knight initially ruled Soler safe, allowing Chapman to score the go-ahead run, but the call was overturned when Arizona challenged and video showed Walker’s glove going in making contact with Soler’s helmet before it hits the bag.

Chapman had an infield single to start the inning and reached third on Ramos’ third hit of the evening, but looked up and saw a stop sign from the third base coach, Matt Williams, who Melvin said was the right decision, even in retrospect. .

“He’ll be out if he’s sent out at that time,” Melvin said.

Before the ninth inning, Ramos launched a solo shot to the opposite field that tied the score at 2 in the seventh inning and spotted two hard-hit balls to right field. The first, thrown by Gurriel, was hit 100.5 mph and had an expected batting average of .390; the second, from Joc Pederson, was the hardest-hit ball of the game, at 111.2 mph, and with its line trajectory, it should have been hit 71 percent of the time, according to Statcast.

“Right when he got here, he played with a lot of confidence,” Melvin said. “Play him left, play him right, hit him all over the lineup, from the middle to the lead, and just keep playing with a lot of energy. He plays very well.

With Michael Conforto returning from a hamstring strain, Melvin opted to keep Ramos in the starting lineup over Matos while moving Mike Yastrzemski to center field for the first time this season. Over his last eight games, Ramos is batting .345 (10 for 29) with two home runs, a double and eight RBIs.

Auditioning for the opening rotation created by Blake Snell’s latest illness, Spencer Howard was not as effective as in his first appearance of the season, when he blanked the Phillies for four innings last week, but still limited the Diamondbacks to just two points. over 4⅔ rounds.

Six of the Diamondbacks’ first nine balls in play against Howard were hit over 100 mph, including Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s solo shot that gave Arizona a 1-0 lead with a batter on his out . But after Eugenio Suarez tripled and scored a second run in the inning, Howard settled in and retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced.

Starting first for the first time in his major league career, Brett Wisely continued his momentum and provided the bulk of the Giants’ offense against Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson, who held them to one run. on five hits in addition to Ramos’ explosion. , requiring only 80 pitches to complete 7⅔ innings.

Lining a single into right field for the Giants’ first hit in the top of the third inning, Wisely was doubled by Matt Chapman – who extended his on-base streak to 21 games with the 109 mph shot into the left lane . -center field – and then added two baggers, but found himself stranded on base.

Since his first start at shortstop on May 23, Wisely has hit safely in eight of ten games, including five with two or more.

The Giants, however, are looking for the rest of their lineup to get going, as they have picked up three or fewer points for the fifth time in their last six games. They had two hits erased by double plays and went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, including Soler’s consecutive out.

“It comes down to one shot,” Melvin said.

Following

LHP Kyle Harrison against LHP Blake Walston (0-0, 2.16) in the second game of the series, with first pitch scheduled for Tuesday at 6:40 p.m.

A few miles east, at the Giants’ minor league complex, RHP Keaton Winn and LHP Robbie Ray are each programmed to present rehabilitation missions. This will be Ray’s first live game action since undergoing Tommy John and flexor surgeries last year and potentially Winn’s final tune-up before joining the rotation.

California Daily Newspapers

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