SAN FRANCISCO -- Continuing to prove himself as a serious candidate for a 2018 rotation spot, Giants right-hander Chris Stratton pieced together another strong outing Sunday against the surging D-backs. He spun six innings of two-run ball, while Pablo Sandoval backed him up with three RBIs to help the Giants break a four-game losing streak in a 7-2 win.
"They did a terrific job to support Stratton," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Stratton after the pitcher allowed five hits and struck out four. "He's on a nice roll. He just pitches a beautiful game. His stuff is crisp. Location was good. A solid six innings. Good to see this offense do some little things to help in that ballgame."
Stratton's lone mistake came when J.D. Martinez blasted a Statcast™-projected 403-foot home run -- his 40th of the season and 24th in a D-backs jersey -- in the sixth inning. With the home run, Martinez is the fifth player in MLB history to hit 40 home runs between two teams. D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta went 3-for-4 but Arizona couldn't capture a series sweep.
"I'm not sure what happened. It was kind of a dud, I'm not going to lie to you," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "They got out in front of us a little bit and we just couldn't get that big hit at the right time."
Stratton also collected his first career hit in his first full start since Sept. 4. He faced one batter when the Dodgers visited San Francisco on Sept. 11, but was scratched after a lengthy weather delay.
"About time," Stratton said of his fifth-inning single. "It's definitely been a struggle. Nobody's really given me a hard time yet. But I'm glad to get one out of the way."
D-backs starter Taijuan Walker (9-8) surrendered four runs in five innings. It marked the first time he's allowed four or more runs since Aug. 11.
"I felt like I got groundballs when I needed them, but it's just one of those games where they found the hole," Walker said. "I didn't think they were hit very hard, but they were able to find a hole."
With the loss, the D-backs' magic number for a postseason berth still sits at six games. Arizona's lead on the Rockies for the first National League Wild Card spot remained at five games after San Diego posted a come-from-behind win over the Rockies.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Stratton slips out of trouble: Arizona's best threat to take the lead came in the third, when David Peralta reached on a Stratton error and Iannetta singled to give the D-backs two on with one out. But the rookie right-hander got Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to right to end the inning without any damage.
"[Stratton has] shown that since he's been up here -- that kind of poise," Bochy said. "With the good hitters up there, he's keeping his focus. He's not intimidated by anything. You see him. He's pitching with the fastball effectively."
Sandoval's right-handed homer: The D-backs went to lefty Jorge De La Rosa in the sixth, which forced the switch-hitting Sandoval to bat right-handed. But Sandoval launched a high-and-in fastball to left-center for a homer, his first four-bagger from the right side since Aug. 8, 2014. The home run, which had an exit velocity of 108 mph, was the hardest-hit ball of the day between both teams. More >
"You have to keep grinding and have faith in everything you do at home plate," Sandoval said. "You have to keep working hard and do everything you can to get the momentum going again."
"Vogy's a great guy. He had an awesome career here. I was glad he got to go out the way that he did. He came to me after the game and told me he was proud of me and the way I've progressed. Hopefully I can have the same kind of career he had." -- Stratton, on Ryan Vogelsong's pregame ceremony to retire as a Giant
D-backs: Left-hander Patrick Corbin (14-12, 4.06 ERA) will take the mound as Arizona opens a three-game series in San Diego on Monday at 7:10 p.m. MST. Corbin is 6-1 with a 2.12 ERA in his last seven starts, including allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings against the Rockies his last time out.
Giants: San Francisco will open a short two-game set against the Rockies Tuesday in a 7:15 p.m. PT game at AT&T Park. Johnny Cueto will make his fourth start since returning from the disabled list. Right-hander German Marquez (10-7, 4.41 ERA) will start for Colorado.
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