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D-backs can't recover from rough second frame

Clarke has abbreviated outing in return from Triple-A
@SteveGilbertMLB
August 18, 2019

PHOENIX -- The D-backs lost another game on the field Saturday night and one in the Wild Card standings, as well. The Giants jumped on starter Taylor Clarke for five runs in the second inning, handing the D-backs an 11-6 loss at Chase Field. • Box score It was the

PHOENIX -- The D-backs lost another game on the field Saturday night and one in the Wild Card standings, as well.

The Giants jumped on starter Taylor Clarke for five runs in the second inning, handing the D-backs an 11-6 loss at Chase Field.

Box score

It was the fourth loss in a row for the D-backs, who trail the Cubs by 4 1/2 games for the National League’s second Wild Card spot. Even worse, they have five teams in front of them.

“You look at the last three games, we just haven’t played good baseball,” outfielder Adam Jones said, referring to the series with the Giants. “And you’ve got to play good baseball in the Major Leagues. Simple as that. And the Giants have been playing good baseball, the teams ahead of us have been playing good baseball. So, it’s just scratch and claw and continue to scratch and claw and grind it out, because nobody is going to feel sorry for us.”

Not only won’t the Giants feel sorry for the D-backs, they are going to throw their ace, Madison Bumgarner, against them in Sunday’s series finale. The left-hander has allowed just one run over 14 innings in his last two starts and the Giants have won each of his last six starts and nine of his last 10.

Not exactly the guy you want to be facing when you’re trying to snap a losing streak.

“We’ve got a tough matchup with Bumgarner tomorrow,” catcher Alex Avila said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to scratch out a win in this series and move on to Colorado after that. That’s really all you can do. By no means is it over. Obviously, losing four in a row, it seems that way. But that’s the great thing about the Wild Card. Because there’s so many teams, it can be difficult to get there, but because of that, everybody beats up on each other. It just takes that one week, 10 days where you get hot, kind of like the Giants did or the Mets did. Hopefully, we have that in us in the next five weeks.”

Saturday seemed like the perfect spot for the D-backs to get rolling. They were facing a pitcher in Logan Webb who was making his Major League debut, while they had Taylor Clarke, who had pitched well in his previous start, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 7-5 D-backs win over the Nationals on Aug. 4

In the first inning, things went according to plan, as Clarke retired the Giants in order in 11 pitches, while the D-backs put up two quick runs against Webb.

But things spiraled away from Clarke quickly in the second inning as the Giants scored five times with the big blow a grand slam by Brandon Belt.

The D-backs, as has been their modus operandi, continued to fight back and managed to put up six runs. But at this point in the season, it’s about results, and at 61-63 the D-backs have to find a way to get things going in the right direction, and soon.

“We’re going to continue to put our chin straps on and give it everything that we have every single night,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “These guys are not trying to make mistakes, they’re not trying to lose baseball games, they’re not trying to throw bad pitches. It’s just the nature of the beast right now. And it’s on us. It’s on us to go out there and figure it out, do our job and come out here with great expectations tomorrow.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.