SAN FRANCISCO -- The D-backs squandered a terrific pitching performance for a second consecutive night, this time by Clay Buchholz, in a 1-0 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday.
Buchholz was magnificent in seven scoreless frames, allowing five hits and striking out three. In his final start of the month, the right-hander lowered his August ERA to a miniscule 1.25. Buchholz extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings.
"[The Giants] made me pitch," said Buchholz, who has made five straight quality starts. "They got into some deep counts and got some runners on base. We had a couple double plays behind us that were key. I felt like their game plan was definitely different [from previous starts]. Me and [catcher Jeff] Mathis, we did a good job when runners did get on base of keeping them there and not letting them cross the plate."
Unfortunately for Buchholz, the D-backs' offense is mired in a scoreless streak of its own. After being blanked by the Giants for the second game in a row, the D-backs haven't scored in 23 innings.
"It is frustrating," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Hitting with men in scoring position is very difficult. These guys are grinding, they're trying, just not getting the job done. You don't score runs for a couple games, obviously the frustration keeps building, but I know they're going to fight and claw and do everything they can to come out of this."
The Giants broke a scoreless tie with Gorkys Hernandez's walk-off RBI single in the ninth off left-hander Jake Diekman, who replaced Brad Ziegler and threw only one pitch. With the D-backs' loss and the Rockies' 3-2 win over the Angels, Arizona and Colorado are tied atop the National League West.
Despite moving a runner to third on four separate occasions, the D-backs could not score against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. Arizona finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
Nick Ahmed tried to solve the D-backs' offensive woes on the basepaths. With two outs in the eighth, the shortstop ran through a stop sign at third and attempted to score from first on a long single to center field by David Peralta. Despite a high relay throw home, Ahmed was thrown out with ease at the plate.
"They just made a good play," Ahmed said. "If that throw's off line just a little bit, I'm probably getting in safe. I think at that point in the game, it was probably the right play to try to put some pressure on them. They had to make two really good plays, and they did."
D-backs starters have allowed two runs over 14 innings in the first two games of this series, yet they lost both.
"We just had a couple bad games offensively," Ahmed said. "Buchholz pitched great, [Patrick] Corbin pitched fantastically yesterday, too. So the pitchers are doing their job, and we're going to come out and swing it tomorrow."
Andrew Chafin has held opponents scoreless in 14 of his last 15 appearances on the road, allowing one earned run in 10 1/3 innings. The left-hander relieved Archie Bradley in the eighth with two outs and runners on first and third. Chafin got Brandon Crawford to ground out softly to first to end the inning.
"I love Archie in the game," Lovullo said. "I never want to remove him from the game. But when all the chips are in there, I felt like that matchup at that point in time, with Chafin against Crawford, was something that I was looking for."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With two outs and a runner on first in the third, Joe Panik laced a line drive into right-center field. A.J. Pollock raced to cut the ball off and fired to Ahmed to nab Panik at second. Initially ruled safe, Lovullo successfully challenged the play and the Giants' scoring chance was thwarted.
HE SAID IT
"I thought he was waving me. I don't know if he put up a stop sign late. My first thought of him was he was waving me, and then I didn't see his stop sign. I don't know if it was late or not. I'll have to check video or talk to him. I thought he was waving me and I was just going as hard as I could." -- Ahmed, on running through the stop sign from third-base coach Tony Perezchica and getting thrown out at home in the eighth
The D-backs will hand the ball to Zack Godley (13-7, 4.59 ERA) for the series finale on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. MST at AT&T Park. The right-hander is looking to bounce back after not making it past the fifth inning in each of his last two outings. Godley is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two career starts in San Francisco. He'll be opposed by fellow righty Dereck Rodriguez (6-1, 2.30).