Walk-off loss puts D-backs' chances on brink

Ray reaches new career high for strikeouts in a season in up-and-down start

September 23rd, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- One day in the near future, D-backs pitcher will look back and reflect on compiling a career high in strikeouts this season.

That day was not Sunday.

Ray was not much for talking about personal accomplishments after the D-backs were walked off by the Padres, 6-4, in 10 innings on Sunday at Petco Park.

The loss snapped the D-backs' three-game winning streak and left them one loss and a Brewers win away from being eliminated from the National League Wild Card race.

“I keep saying, no matter what the circumstances are, we’ve got to regroup the troops and be ready to play a clean baseball game tomorrow,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

Ray was long gone by the time the game was decided, having struck out 10 in 5 1/3 innings to bump his season total to 225, with one start likely remaining.

“That’s nice, but it stinks that we lost today, so it’s tough to kind of step back and evaluate it,” Ray said. “Any time you lose, looking at stuff like that is not right.”

One thing Ray did want to talk about was the two-run homer he gave up to Ty France in the fourth inning.

“That’s probably one of the cheapest ones I can think of,” Ray said.

The ball snuck just over the part of wall that juts out down the right-field line at Petco Park. The homer left France’s bat at 98 mph with a 42-degree launch angle. That gave the hit an .060 expected batting average.

Greg Garcia led off the 10th with a double down the left-field line off Yoan López, and Mejias-Brean followed with a homer to left.

The runs allowed were the latest chapter in what has been a tough second half of the season for López.

López was nearly unhittable in the first half of the season, going 1-2 with a 1.59 ERA, but since the All-Star break, the right-hander has thrown to a 6.20 ERA, including a 10.13 mark in September.

“I guess inconsistent would be the word I would use,” Lovullo said of López. “I just think he is making mistakes in the middle of the zone and maybe the shape of his secondary [pitches] isn’t as tight as it needs to be. But those are things that he’s working on every single day. I think he’s had a very good season. I think the first half, he was virtually unhittable. And the league made some adjustments to him and I think he’s turning that around right now and trying to do his best to make his own adjustments.”