PHOENIX -- A pair of solo homers by A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez proved to be all the offense the D-backs would need Saturday night as Taijuan Walker and a trio of relievers made it hold up in a 2-1 Arizona win.With the victory on the second day of Players
PHOENIX -- A pair of solo homers by A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez proved to be all the offense the D-backs would need Saturday night as Taijuan Walker and a trio of relievers made it hold up in a 2-1 Arizona win.
With the victory on the second day of Players Weekend, the D-backs maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over the Rockies for the top National League Wild Card spot. The win was the first for Walker (7-7) since June 21, while Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (3-6) deserved a better fate.
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Pollock's blow came in the first off "Mad-Bum" and was "Pollo's" seventh of the year.
"Bumgarner is just a tough pitcher," Pollock said. "You're just trying to get something you can handle out over the plate. With two strikes, he tried to sneak one by me and I was able to get the barrel on it, and I'm glad it got out of the park."
Bumgarner reluctantly admired Pollock's handiwork.
"I guess he's gotten really good at hitting high fastballs in the last year or two, because that's two [home runs] he's hit off me this year in basically the same spot."
The Giants responded with a homer of their own with two outs in the fourth when Jarrett Parker collected his team's first hit.
• 'Tai-Weezy' rewarded with long-awaited win
A one-out homer in the fourth by Martinez ("Flaco") would prove to be the difference, with Andrew Chafin, David Hernandez and Fernando Rodney picking up for Walker, who left with one out in the seventh.
It was Rodney's fifth save in six days and it was "Benjamin's" 32nd of the season. He has converted his last 11 save opportunities.
"One word -- remarkable," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of the 40-year-old's workload. "He comes in, wants to pitch, never wants off-days. When I tell him he's down, there's some reluctance to his response in saying OK. He's a true team player and he just wants the ball every single day."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
K and K: Walker found himself in a jam in the fifth when the Giants got singles from Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik to put runners on the corners with one out. "Tai-Weezy" then got Ryder Jones and Bumgarner to strike out swinging to end the threat.
"With nobody warming up in the bullpen, there's going to be no backup and you're the one standing out there in the middle of the diamond. It's going to be your moment to get those outs," Lovullo said of the mindset he wanted Walker to have.
Relief help: With one out in the seventh, Pablo Sandoval drew a one-out walk, which ended Walker's night. Left-hander Chafin came on to face Panik, who singled to left to put runners on first and second. The Giants could not capitalize, though, as pinch-hitter Nick Hundley popped to short and Bumgarner struck out looking.
"Big moment," Lovullo said. "It was going to be [Chafin's] no matter what. He's earned that opportunity. He got some big outs in a big moment."
Neither Bumgarner nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy was overly thrilled with umpire Jerry Meals' third-strike call on a pitch they thought was outside.
"I would have liked for the result to be different," Bumgarner said after his seven-inning stint.
"He had no chance on that pitch," said the skipper known as "Boch."
D-backs shortstop Ketel Marte was removed from the game after the fifth inning due to left hamstring tightness. Third baseman Adam Rosales moved to short and Daniel Descalso entered the game at third. Lovullo said after the game that Marte would be re-evaluated Sunday, but the team did not think it was serious.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Giants thought they had turned a double play that ended a D-backs rally before it could begin in the sixth inning. But replay reviews could not confirm if second baseman Panik's relay to first base beat Pollock to the bag, so replay officials ruled the safe call on the field would stand.
Giants:Chris Stratton will test his two-game, 12 2/3-scoreless inning streak in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale against Arizona at Chase Field. He's the first rookie pitcher this season to make back-to-back scoreless starts of six innings or more. This will be his second career appearance against the D-backs.
D-backs:Patrick Corbin brings a three-start winning streak into Sunday's 1:10 p.m. MST series finale with the Giants at Chase Field. The left-hander has a 0.39 ERA and a .160 opponent's batting average in his last three outings.
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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.