PHOENIX -- The D-backs couldn't halt their skid Monday night as they lost to the Brewers, 7-2, dropping a sixth consecutive game. What may stick out most, though, is a ninth-inning play that could have long-term ramifications.The Brewers' Tyler Saladino hit a fly ball to center field and A.J. Pollock
PHOENIX -- The D-backs couldn't halt their skid Monday night as they lost to the Brewers, 7-2, dropping a sixth consecutive game. What may stick out most, though, is a ninth-inning play that could have long-term ramifications.
The Brewers' Tyler Saladino hit a fly ball to center field and A.J. Pollock chased after it. Pollock dove and couldn't quite get to it, but appeared to awkwardly roll over his left hand. Saladino raced around the bases for a two-run, inside-the-park homer. Pollock exited the game and was diagnosed with a left thumb sprain.
The D-backs are without Jake Lamb and Robbie Ray. They lost starting pitcher Taijuan Walker for the season after Tommy John surgery. They didn't get Steven Souza Jr. back until recently. Now, they could be without the reigning National League Player of the Month.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Pollock was being evaluated postgame. He will see the team's hand specialist on Tuesday. Lovullo didn't have any further information. Pollock was unavailable for comment.
What would it mean to lose Pollock, a player who is hitting .295 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs?
"I'm not even going to think about it," Lovullo said. "I'm not even going to get there until we know what's going on tomorrow."
Not only do the D-backs have to deal with that, but they must also find a way to snap out of a funk. There were a couple encouraging signs on Monday.
Paul Goldschmidt, mired in a slump, singled and hit two loud outs, one of which almost went over the wall. Souza tallied his first RBI on a double to get the D-backs on the board. Ketel Marte squared up a couple balls.
"We know that there are some offensive catalysts in our lineup, so when we get them rolling, we're going to get back to the way we were playing a week ago," Lovullo said. "That's how great this game is. Within one week, we're having a totally different conversation."
The D-backs won nine consecutive series to begin the season. They've now dropped eight of their past 10 games. Still, they're 24-17 and atop the NL West.
"This is a very well-rounded team," Souza said. "If we were an offense-only team, I think we would press. But our pitching has picked us up a ton. It's a long year. At one point we're going to pick up the pitching, and vice versa."
But at the end of Monday night, the D-backs' slump had taken a backseat. There's a new injury to monitor.
Lovullo said Pollock wasn't "in a tremendous amount of pain." Souza said he thought Pollock's exit was precautionary, as the Brewers held a five-run lead.
The D-backs will soon learn for sure whether they'll be without yet another crucial piece.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Potential rundown goes awry: With two gone in the second inning, starter Patrick Corbin caught Jonathan Villar napping. He threw a pickoff to first base and Villar took off for second. But instead of firing to second base, Goldschmidt held on to the ball as he seemed wary of the runner at third base. Moments later, Orlando Arcia hit a two-run double. The D-backs could've been out of the inning unscathed, but instead they trailed, 2-0.
"We didn't necessarily execute a rundown play properly and that cost [Corbin] a couple runs," Lovullo said.
Yelich stings Chafin: The game was tied at 2 in the seventh inning. That is, until Christian Yelich hit a pinch-hit RBI single off of Andrew Chafin. Later in the inning, Domingo Santana hit a sacrifice fly. The Brewers led, 4-2, and added to it in the ninth as the D-backs bats fell silent.
Zack Greinke will toe the rubber for the D-backs in game two of the three-game series against the Brewers on Tuesday night at Chase Field, with first pitch at 6:40 p.m. MST. Last time out, Greinke gave up just one run in seven innings against the Nationals. He also drove in the team's only run of the game. The D-backs will face Milwaukee's Jhoulys Chacin, who is 3-1 with a 4.00 ERA this season.
Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com.