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Greinke solid, but D-backs fall out of tie for 1st

Arizona ace goes six strong but bullpen allows six runs
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- In the early innings on Thursday night, it was clear that Giants ace Madison Bumgarner didn't have his best stuff, as eight D-backs managed to reach base against him in the first three innings.

Unfortunately for Arizona, only one of the eight scored, as the D-backs wasted a nice performance from their ace, Zack Greinke, in an 8-1 loss to the Giants at Chase Field. Greinke allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings.

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PHOENIX -- In the early innings on Thursday night, it was clear that Giants ace Madison Bumgarner didn't have his best stuff, as eight D-backs managed to reach base against him in the first three innings.

Unfortunately for Arizona, only one of the eight scored, as the D-backs wasted a nice performance from their ace, Zack Greinke, in an 8-1 loss to the Giants at Chase Field. Greinke allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings.

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With the defeat and the Dodgers' blowout win over the Brewers, Arizona falls one game behind Los Angeles in the National League West.

"The first three innings, there was a ton of traffic out there," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "We had some situations with runners at third base and less than two outs and couldn't execute, and then we had a ton of traffic with two outs and couldn't get the big hit."

Evan Longoria hit a solo homer for the Giants in the first and then saved a pair with a diving catch of Steven Souza Jr.'s line drive in the bottom half of the first, as the D-backs left the bases loaded. Arizona's lone run against Bumgarner (4-4) came in the second inning, when Eduardo Escobar hit a sacrifice fly to score Ketel Marte.

"I think Bumgarner, he went out there and executed and got outs, and he's done that his whole career," Lovullo said. "So he didn't back down. He didn't beat himself. He forced us to beat him and we couldn't get the job done."

Video: SF@ARI: Lovullo on missed chances, Greinke's outing

The Giants added a run against Greinke (12-6) in the fifth, and he was tagged with the loss after going 7-0 with a 1.53 ERA in his previous eight starts.

"Stuff was good, command probably wasn't as good as the last however many starts," Greinke said. "Probably better at-bats, too. They had some professional at-bats up there today. At least the last couple years, that's one thing they do pretty good. In the past couple years, they didn't really strike out much and didn't chase a ton. There are a couple of guys that will chase, but just tough to strike out, and grind at-bats is kind of what they've done the last couple of years."

Indeed, it was that grinding of at-bats by the Giants that raised Greinke's pitch count and chased him from the game after six innings.

Things then got a little ugly for Arizona, as San Francisco tacked on six runs between the seventh and eighth innings against new bullpen additions Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler.

Video: SF@ARI: Ziegler K's Cutch in return to D-backs

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The D-backs were on the verge of breaking the game open against Bumgarner in the first inning when they loaded the bases with just one out. Souza's line drive looked like it was going to get through the hole at third and score at least one if not two runs before Longoria nabbed it.

"That diving play, it saves you," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "A play like that, it stops a rally. That ball gets through, they get momentum going. Huge play there for us."

Video: SF@ARI: Longoria lays out for superb run-saving catch

CONFUSION ON THE MOUND
With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Lovullo sent pitching coach Mike Butcher out to the mound to talk to Ziegler and give T.J. McFarland more time to get ready in the bullpen. After the visit, Bochy sent the switch-hitting Alen Hanson up to pinch-hit.

Lovullo went out to confer with home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo to see if he could make a pitching change. Randazzo told him he could not, because by rule after a mound visit, you cannot make another one until the pitcher has faced a hitter.

Lovullo stayed with Ziegler, who gave up an RBI single to Hanson.

Video: SF@ARI: Hanson plates Posey with a single to right

After the game, Lovullo visited with the umpire's in their locker room and they told him they got the call wrong, because the exception to the rule -- Rule 5.10 (I) -- is if the other team sends up a pinch-hitter after the first mound visit.

"Torey was misinformed," crew chief Bill Welke said. "When he asked the question, he was told misinformation."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
When he was in town as a member of the Marlins, Ziegler rode the bullpen cart. Thursday, he became the first D-backs pitcher to use the cart during the regular season when he entered the game in the seventh.

"One of the things that helps me kind of stay composed when there are runners on base and stuff is to have a low heart rate," Ziegler said. "I just figured, like, if I can avoid jogging in, then why jog in? Especially with all the adrenaline I already had tonight, it might dampen it a little bit."

Video: SF@ARI: Ziegler uses the bullpen cart in return

Ziegler said he is undecided about whether he will use the cart in the future.

UP NEXT
The D-backs continue their four-game series with the Giants on Friday night with Patrick Corbin (7-4, 3.26 ERA) on the mound. This will be Corbin's fifth start of the season against the Giants, and he is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA against them. The Giants will counter with Chris Stratton (8-6, 5.14).

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Greinke