Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Caleb Smith throws against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
PHOENIX — Most of the fireworks for the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday night took place in the sky above Chase Field in a 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on the Fourth of July.
Anthony DeSclafani continued his impressive season for the orange and black, nearly pitching a complete game while holding the D-backs to two runs on six hits and striking out seven as opposed to two walks as his ERA falls to 2.84.
The only action for the D-backs on the basepaths through the middle innings came via walks to David Peralta in the first inning and pitcher Caleb Smith in the third inning, the D-backs’ first hit of the game off the bat of Pavin Smith in the fifth inning and a single by Josh VanMeter in the sixth inning.
The Peralta walk and Smith hit were immediately erased on double plays from the next batters, Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Reddick, respectively.
Arizona finally got on the board in the seventh inning after Cabrera led off the inning with a double and was driven home two batters later by Reddick, who was subsequently thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double which ended the inning.
Christian Walker’s RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove DeSclafani from the game.
Pavin Smith followed Walker’s hit with a walk but Reddick grounded out as the tieing run to end the game.
On the mound for Arizona, Smith’s pitching line was much worse than how he threw in the game, giving up five runs on five hits in six innings pitched while striking out five and walking one.
He was hurt by a broken-bat RBI single by Buster Posey and a RBI double by Darin Ruf in the first inning as well as a two-run home run by Ruf five innings later, all with two outs.
Smith has been one of the better pitchers for the team since returning to the rotation on June 1, coming into the game with a 1.59 ERA in his last three starts.
He’s also allowed five or fewer hits in each of his eight starts this season, breaking a club record held by Randy Johnson (2000) and Yusmiero Petit (2008).
The streak brings him into a tie with Colorado Rockies’ pitcher Austin Gomber for the sixth-longest in the National League this season.
Riley Smith and Joakim Soria provided three innings of scoreless relief for the D-backs.
D-backs third baseman Eduardo Escobar was named to be the team’s representative at the All-Star Game in Denver. It marks the first career selection for the 32-year-old.
He leads the team in home runs (18) and RBI (54) while having a batting average of .249.
Meanwhile, Posey was removed from the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with a left thumb contusion after taking a foul ball off his glove. X-rays were negative.
After an off-day on Monday, the D-backs welcome the Colorado Rockies into town for the first of three games.
Merrill Kelly will look to keep his consistent performance going while Jon Gray toes the rubber for Colorado.
First pitch is 6:40 p.m. and all the action can be heard on ESPN 620 AM.