Chris Stratton gave up five first-inning runs as the San Francisco Giants saw their four-game winning streak come to an end, falling 6-3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but as pressing as the need for stability at the back of the rotation is for San Francisco, that was overshadowed by Buster Posey’s departure from the game after taking a foul ball off the mask.
That foul ball came during Paul Goldschmidt’s second at-Bar in the first. Goldschmidt’s first at-bay resulted in a homer, which kickstarted a five-run rally. It was his 200th career home run and 22nd against the Giants. He only has more against the Los Angeles Dodgers (30) and Colorado Rockies (24).
David Peralta would follow with a single, and came around to score on a base hit by Eduardo Escobar, who’s filling in nicely in place of Giant nemesis Jake Lamb, out for the rest of the year after shoulder surgery. Alex Avila, who entered the night batting .171, walked with the bases loaded to bring home a third run. His average is the highest it’s been since April. Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin’s two-run single on an 0-2 pitch extended the lead to 5-1.
Peralta homered to lead off the bottom of the second, and though Arizona (61-50) wouldn’t score again, it was more than enough. Corbin allowed three runs over six innings, striking out eight. He yielded seven hits but didn’t issue any walks. Austin Slater’s two-out single brought home the game’s first run in the opening frame, and after a Brandon Crawford RBI groundout in the third, Slater delivered another two-out knock for his second RBI of the game and tenth of the season.
It was in that third inning where Posey left injured, being replaced with pinch-runner Nick Hundley after appearing unstable following his second single. Following the game, manager Bruce Bochy said the team hopes Posey can play Sunday, but if he shows concussion symptoms, he may be headed for the seven-day disabled list. He was on that list in April 2017 after being hit on the helmet with a pitch from Arizona starter Taijuan Walker.
Stratton recorded just nine outs and left with the bases loaded in the fourth. Ty Blach, working for the second straight night, got out of the inning as Bay Area native Daniel Descalso — who honors his roots by walking up to the plate with E-40’s “Tell Me When To Go”– grounded into a double play. Blach pitched 2 1/3 innings, Reyes Moronta got the final two outs of the sixth and the final two innings came from Mark Melancon and Sam Dyson. It was Melancon’s first time pitching in back-to-back games this year.
San Francisco (56-55) went quietly in the seventh against Yoshihisa Hirano and in the eighth against Brad Boxberger, but two-out singles by Hunter Pence and Steven Duggar brought up pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez with a chance to tie the game. Hernandez grounded out to seal Boxberger’s 26th save of the year.
With the Dodgers falling 2-1 to Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros. and the Rockies falling to the Milwaukee Brewers on a walk-off homer by Bay Area native Eric Thames, the Diamondbacks are the only team in the NL West that created any separation from the Giants on Friday. As for potential Wild Card teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brewers, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies all won.