San Francisco Giants lose second straight to Arizona Diamondbacks despite Steven Duggar’s first big league homer

Steven Duggar hit his first career home run and Andrew McCutchen went deep as part of a five-hit night, but for the second straight night, the San Francisco Giants allowed five first-inning runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the second straight night, those were too much to overcome, as San Francisco lost 9-3 to fall back to .500.

All five of Saturday’s first-inning runs scored against Andrew Suarez with two outs. Steven Souza Jr. tripled home a pair of runs to start the rally, and then scored on a Nick Ahmed single. Ketel Marte followed with his tenth homer of the year, a two-run shot to make it 5-0.

Suarez had been one of the Giants’ most consistent young starters in a season where Johnny Cueto (elbow), Madison Bumgarner (finger) and Jeff Samardzija (various) had all spent time on the disabled list. Between June 13 and July 9, Suarez tossed six straight starts of at least five innings allowing two or fewer earned runs, with an ERA of 2.00. Over his last three starts coming into Saturday, he had an ERA of 5.94. On Saturday, he allowed eight runs in five innings.

As good as Clay Buchholz has been for the Diamondbacks (62-50), the Giants did manage to score two runs off of him over six innings. McCutchen’s 12th homer of the year and his second of the series got San Francisco (56-56) on the board in the top of the third, and Duggar’s one-out solo shot in the fourth cut it to 5-2, followed by the customary silent treatment.

The three-run margin was the closest it would get. Souza’s two-out double in the fifth brought home Eduardo Escobar, and after a wild pitch, Ahmed went deep to stretch the lead to 8-2. The eight runs and ten hits Suarez allowed over his five innings were both career-highs, though to be fair, that career spans just under five months.

Ahmed took Giants reliever Derek Law deep in the eighth for his second homer of the game and 16th of the year. Normally regarded as a glove-first shortstop, he had never hit more than nine home runs in one season before 2018. That home run tarnished Law’s first MLB appearance since May 9. Pierce Johnson, recalled with Law earlier in the day, took care of the sixth and seventh.

Three deadline acquisitions came out of the bullpen to provide scoreless innings for the hosts. Brad Ziegler and Jake Diekman combined to take care of the seventh for Arizona and Matt Andriese pitched a scoreless eighth. McCutchen’s fifth and final hit of the night, a double in the ninth off lefty Andrew Chafin, accounted for the game’s final run.

Ethan Kassel

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