D-backs falter with runners in scoring position in finale loss

July 23rd, 2023

CINCINNATI -- The D-backs entered their nine-game road trip with a 26-14 record away from the desert. Eventually, road woes had to catch up to them. With a 7-3 loss to the Reds on Sunday afternoon, they ended the trip 2-7 and with four straight losses. Arizona (54-46) is 4-12 over its past 16 games.

"It's hard to talk about the frustration we're all feeling," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We all know what the record is. We know what the outcomes have been. It wasn't anything close to what we expected. We're all frustrated by that, period.

"When you dissect that and look into it deeper, we're just not playing the kind of baseball we played up to those past 14, 16 games. It's getting back to the foundation: Being a good teammate, working as hard as you possibly can for the guy sitting next to you, expecting good results -- not hoping for good results -- playing the game full-throttle and believing you're going to get it done.”

In the series finale, the D-backs went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners on base. Their only runs came in a three-run fifth inning, highlighted by Corbin Carroll’s game-tying two-run homer that went a Statcast-projected 446 feet, the longest of his career.

"I think we need to go out and play our game," said Carroll. "I believe in these guys, and they believe in me."

Right-harder José Ruiz, the opener for Sunday’s bullpen game, gave up a leadoff home run to Elly De La Cruz in the first on a 96.8 mph sinker after falling behind 3-1. De La Cruz launched it at 110.7 mph off the bat a Statcast-projected 407 feet to right-center.

Ruiz got two quick outs in the second, but then he gave up a single to Christian Encarnacion-Strand. After a mound visit, Ruiz grooved an 86.4 mph curveball to Nick Senzel, who sent a homer to left field and put the D-backs in a 3-0 hole.

Arizona could get nothing going through four innings against right-hander Luke Weaver, who came in with 2-2 with a 7.22 ERA.

That quickly changed in the fifth. Geraldo Perdomo led off with a single. When Ketel Marte singled, Perdomo scored on a throwing error from first baseman Spencer Steer. Carroll hit the next pitch over the batter's eye for his 21st home run of the year and second in as many days.

Christian Walker followed the homer with a double to chase Weaver.

"We've been waiting for that trigger to happen," Lovullo said. "I believe in this team. I felt it was happening. We couldn't catch our breath enough to take a lead. We were mixing and matching the best we could out of the bullpen.

"It was working pretty well. We couldn't take advance of some big situations."

The Reds took the lead back in the sixth on Jake Fraley's RBI double, then scored two more off righty Miguel Castro in the eighth.

"They were sacrificing their ability to drive baseballs and staying on heavy two-team fastball from Castro," Lovullo said. "That was the difference in the game."

So where do the D-backs go from here?

"It's a moving goalpost," Lovullo said. "You're trying to do what you can, from my standpoint, and make sure everyone's in the best position to be successful. I think players need to simplify it: Go out and do your job."