The Arizona Diamondbacks can finally exhale, their eight-game losing streak a thing of the past after another quality effort from starting pitcher Zac Gallen and, for a change, early runs scored rather than late-inning rallies from far behind in a game.
The Diamondbacks hope to sustain some momentum from Friday’s night’s series-opening 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field when they face the Giants Saturday night.
Gallen set a major league record with his 22nd consecutive start to begin a big-league career allowing three runs or less. Aaron Sele went his first 21 games surrendering three runs or less in 1993 and into 1994 with the Boston Red Sox.
“We were on that skid, and we’re such a better team than how we’ve been playing, and the guys know that,” Gallen said. “Sometimes you just need some breaks. You need some hits to fall in, stuff like that. The one sucky part is we’re a lot better than we were playing so it’s good to get off the losing streak and hopefully get on a roll here now.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said the losing was increasingly difficult to talk about day after day.
“I’m really proud of our guys for continuing to fight on the level that they have. I ask them to put their feet firmly in the ground, stand there and duke it out, no matter what the circumstances are,” Lovullo said. “I think that’s what’s been happening despite the losses.”
Right-hander Luke Weaver gets the ball for Arizona on Saturday. Weaver (1-4, 7.77 earned run average) lost to the Giants last Sunday in San Francisco, 6-1, but allowed just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings.
The Giants have lost three straight games and had scored just one run in 22 innings until they rallied for three runs in the ninth inning on Friday.
That one run came on Evan Longoria’s solo home run in the sixth inning in Phoenix Friday.
“As an offense we haven’t been scoring a lot of runs, and as an offense we’ve been trying to do that to take pressure off our pitching,” Longoria said. “We’ve got a a really great group of guys, and I think the belief is that we can make the playoffs. We’ve got to continue to play the way we have been, the last two or three days notwithstanding. We’ve done some nice things as a group, and there’s a lot to build off of.”
The Giants’ scheduled stater for Saturday is former Diamondback Trevor Cahill, who was 24-34 in three seasons in Phoenix from 2012 to 2014. The veteran right-hander has a 1.64 ERA in three starts despite not having a win-loss record.
Cahill struck out a season-high eight batters in 5 1/3 innings — also a season high — in his most recent start, which was last Sunday in San Francisco’s 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
Former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, now with Arizona, is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Saturday as he works his way back from a back injury. It appears Bumgarner will skip one more turn in the starting rotation before he is activated from the 10-day injured list, perhaps sometime next week.
–Field Level Media