San Francisco Giants center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) hits a grand slam in the fourth inning to give the team a 5-0 lead against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on April 8, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to S.F. Examiner)

Giants fall short of sweep in desert

San Francisco loses in walkoff to Arizona Diamondbacks

The San Francisco Giants brought more than 16 men into camp this spring compete for outfield spots this spring. Only six players from that group played even a game in the outfield for San Francisco this year, and only one — Steven Duggar — remains on the big league roster, though he’s on the injured list and inactive.

This weekend, three outfielders who weren’t even on the roster when the season have fueled an 18-run offensive explosion for San Francisco — more runs than they’ve scored in back-to-back games since May 6-7 — by combining to go 11-for-27 with 15 RBIs and three homers in the first two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On Sunday, Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson and Kevin Pillar went a combined 1-for-11, and the Giants suffered a walk-off for the first time in 40 road games this season, a 3-2, 10-inning loss, stymieing San Francisco’s chance at its first three-game sweep of the season.

Arizona (39-40) got on the board with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the third, and the Giants (33-43) got even in the fourth on a Stephen Vogt groundout.

The Diamondbacks put men at first and third in the bottom of the frame before Christian Walker sent a 1-2 cement-mixer slider on a line into the right field corner, scoring Adam Jones. Anderson didn’t face much trouble after that, though his catcher did.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly fouled a 1-1 Anderson offering straight back off of the inside of Vogt’s right knee. He hobbled out to the middle of the infield, where he was checked on by trainers. Vogt, however, stayed in, and Anderson retired the side in order.

Pillar continued his hot weekend, launching a line-drive over the left-center field fence to lead off the seventh for his 10th homer of the season. The game-tying shot — a 400-footer off a knee-high 80-mph changeup at the knees — chased Kelly.

In the bottom of the seventh, Anderson gave up a single and a ground-rule double, before being removed for Reyes Moronta.

Moronta’s second pitch of the inning, an 0-1 offering to Nick Ahmed, tailed away through the left-handed batters box and all the way to the backstop, but it bounced right back to Vogt, who barely had to move to tag Eduardo Escobar trying to take home. Moronta then got a grounder to short from Ahmed and, after several long foul balls over a seven-pitch battle with Domingo Leyba, got out of the inning with no damage.

Sam Dyson tossed a scoreless ninth, but in the 10th, Mark Melancon — who had given up just one earned run in his last seven innings over six appearances — allowed a 2-0 leadoff single to Christian Walker. After Ahmed grounded into a force at second, Melancon walked Jarrod Dyson, and wild pitched both men up 90 feet. After intentional walking Carson Kelly, Melancon served up a 1-0, 92-mph fastball on the inner half to Tim Locastro for the walk-off single to left.

The Giants will return home this week for three against the Colorado Rockies, before hosting these same Diamondbacks for four more, and then hitting the road again.


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