Leake dominates as D-backs win 3rd straight

August 28th, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- and the Arizona Diamondbacks gave each other something to celebrate Tuesday night.

Leake, a Trade Deadline acquisition from Seattle, earned his first D-backs victory by contributing 7 1/3 innings during a 3-2 decision over the San Francisco Giants.

The D-backs could become a more legitimate contestant in the Wild Card sweepstakes if Leake can duplicate this performance.

“I hope to have this one continue, have it be kind of a repetitive thing,” Leake said. “We only have about a month left to prove ourselves, so we need more of these.”

The D-backs brushed past the Giants in the Wild Card race by sweeping this two-game series. Arizona trails the Cubs by four games for the second Wild Card berth. Three teams separate the Cubs and D-backs in the Wild Card standings.

Leake struggled in his first four starts with the D-backs, compiling an 0-2 record and an 8.02 ERA. This time, however, the right-hander put together one of his better outings of the season, yielding two runs and four hits.

The victory Leake generated was the D-backs’ third in a row, dissolving the bitterness of back-to-back losses at Milwaukee to begin this two-city trip. It also gave the club some momentum as it approaches a four-game home series against the National League’s formidable defending champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Thursday.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, conditioned to the ephemeral nature of winning and losing, planned to savor this triumph a little longer than usual.

“I want to enjoy this one,” Lovullo said. “This was a nice victory for us. I don’t want to turn the page too quickly. I want to feel it. I want these guys to understand what they did is special after having a tough start to this road trip. We finished on a positive note. However, at some point we get on that airplane, we have to quickly turn the page and get ready for a Dodger team that’s playing its best baseball.”

Leake (10-10) approached his best as he retired 14 consecutive Giants between the third and eighth innings. He admitted that when he gets on a roll like that, he knows it.

“It’s a matter of keeping myself composed and not allowing yourself to get too geeked up, which has happened to me before,” he said.

Leake remained in complete control through the start of the eighth inning, which he opened by retiring pinch-hitter Austin Slater on a groundout -- one of his specialties. Leake entered the game having induced 258 grounders, third-highest total in the Majors.

Trying to preserve Arizona’s 3-1 lead, Leake then issued his only walk of the evening -- another specialty of his, with just 23 free passes on his ledger -- by putting Mike Yastrzemski on first base. T.J. McFarland relieved Leake and yielded Brandon Belt’s RBI double before reliever Kevin Ginkel coaxed a line drive to second base. Yastrzemski was doubled off first, ending the inning.

Arizona captured the season series against the Giants, 10-9.