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Arizona Diamondbacks 6, San Francisco Giants 7: Bayside Bummer

The San Francisco Giants roughed up Merrill Kelly today and have narrowed the Arizona Diamondbacks NL West lead to just 1.5 games.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

In what could be an important series in determining the outcome of the National League West, the San Francisco Giants secured a series victory today with a one run win over the current division leaders. Merrill Kelly got the start today for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Along with Zac Gallen at the top of the rotation, he has been instrumental in how good Arizona has been this season but did not have his best stuff today. San Francisco, on the other hand, went the route of opener/bullpen day using a total of seven pitchers.

Arizona jumped out to an early one run lead in just their second batter of the game when Ketel Marte hammered a 1-1 slider to right field from Ryan Walker. The solo shot was Ketel’s third home run in the past week.

However, the early lead was just as short lived as quickly as it came as San Francisco countered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. It started with LaMonte Wade Jr. picking up where he left off last night with a lead off double. Kelly did his job by getting the next batter to hit into what should have been an easy fly out for Corbin Carroll. Instead, he took his eye off the ball to check Wade Jr. at second and the pop fly clanked off his glove putting runners on the corners with no outs. Joc Pederson tied the game on a force out, and Michael Conforto hit a two out double to give the Giants a 2-to-1 lead at the conclusion of the first.

Kelly was able to dance himself out of a jam in the second after allowing the first two batters of the inning to reach safely, but his woes continued in the third. Pederson slapped a one out single to left field, and Kelly had a chance to end that inning with no runs scored after getting J.D. Davis to pop out for the second out. Unfortunately, he walked Conforto to continue the frame, and Blake Sabol made it hurt with an outfield single bringing in San Francisco’s third run of the game.

The Diamondbacks really hit their stride and appeared to take the game by storm in the fifth inning, but that too would be short lived. Jake McCarthy began the fifth with an infield single and promptly stole second base as expected, his sixteenth steal on the season. Two more consecutive singles from Geraldo Perdomo and Ketel Marte made it a one run game and prompted a pitching change from the Giants, their second in the game. Corbin Carroll loaded the bases on a force out up the middle as the Giants tried to get Marte at second. He was ruled safe on a close play which the Giants challenged, but the call on the field stood. Christian Walker cleared the bases with a double to the gap in left center making the score 5-to-3.

As stated earlier, Kelly wasn’t the best version of himself today and so the lead was short lived. The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Thairo Estrada got it started with a leadoff single and was tripled home by Pederson who was scored three batters later on a sac fly tying the game at five apiece. Kelly’s outing came to an end in the bottom of the sixth after he allowed Luis Matos’s first home run of his career, a two run homer to left field.

Kyle Nelson and Jose Ruiz teamed up to go scoreless the rest of the way and keep the Diamondbacks within striking distance. Arizona’s last gasp in the top of the ninth came tantalizingly close to seeing them overtake the Giants once more. Marte reached for the third time in the game with a one out walk and advanced to third on a two out single from Walker. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. punched a single through the right side of the infield making it a one run game, but the attempted rally came to an end when Pavin Smith struck out to end the game.

06/24/23: D’backs (6) @ Giants (7)