What we learned as Giants lose fifth straight after D-backs’ walk-off

Author:
NBC Sports Bay Area

BOX SCORE

For a second straight day, the Giants were undone by a late homer off of a hard-throwing right-handed reliever. 

Pavin Smith took Randy Rodriguez deep to dead center in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 4-2 walk-off win at Chase Field and handing the Giants a fifth straight loss.

A day after Camilo Doval was hit hard in the ninth, Rodriguez gave up a one-out bloop double before Smith jumped on a 98 mph fastball and cleared the high wall in dead center. Rodriguez, a rookie, has looked unhittable at times this season, but he also has given up multiple runs in two of his last three appearances. 

The Giants have been cold at the plate over the last week, and Ryne Nelson went nine up, nine down on 31 pitches to start the night. The Diamondbacks took an early 2-0 lead, but the Giants got a run back in the middle innings and then tied it up on another homer by their hottest hitter. 

Heliot Ramos took on the deep part of the yard and made it look easy, hitting a 420-foot homer to right-center that cleared the pool deck. That’s not an area that’s kind to right-handed hitters, but Ramos knew it right away, and he went into a slow jog before stylishly flipping his bat down the first base line. 

San Francisco thought it took the lead in the top of the ninth when Jorge Soler was called safe at first on a grounder with runners on the corners. But the Diamondbacks challenged the play right away and a review quickly showed that Gold Glove first baseman Christian Walker tagged Soler’s helmet a split-second before he touched the bag.  

Bullpenning

A week ago, the Giants rode their bullpen to a shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies, the best team in the National League. They ran it back Monday, and while the performance wasn’t quite as dominant, they again got solid work from the two key figures. 

Erik Miller, the opener, stranded a pair of runners in a scoreless first inning. Spencer Howard took over as the bulk innings guy and gave up a pair of runs over 4 2/3 innings. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took Howard deep right away and he gave up a second run in his first inning of work before settling in. 

Through two appearances, Howard has allowed two runs in 8 2/3 innings. San Francisco will keep leaning on him, even with Keaton Winn on the way back from an injury. Blake Snell went on the IL on Monday, a day after he re-injured his groin. 

Wise move

Luis Matos has been the main leadoff hitter since Jung Hoo Lee went down, but with Michael Conforto back and Matos slumping, Bob Melvin shook things up. Brett Wisely went to the top of the lineup for the first time and he kept his red-hot run going at the plate. 

Wisely singled in the fourth and scored the first Giants run when Matt Chapman put one in the gap. In his next at-bat, he yanked a double off the wall in right that wasn’t far from being a homer. 

The Giants are facing lefties the next two days, so they might not want Wisely in the leadoff spot, but he certainly is solidifying his hold on a job. Nick Ahmed halted his rehab assignment because of discomfort in his left wrist, so Wisely will continue to get plenty of time. 

Tyler time

All-Star voting starts this week, which means it’s officially time to start thinking about which players might have a shot at playing in Arlington in mid-July. If he could take out a ninth-inning blowup in New York on the last road trip, Tyler Rogers would have a strong case. 

Rogers made his 31st appearance Monday, tying teammate Ryan Walker for the MLB lead, and it was one of his more dominant innings this year. He struck out Gabriel Moreno and former teammate Joc Pederson before getting Walker to pop up to third. Rogers got through the heart of the order on 16 pitches, lowering his ERA to 2.79. Through 29 innings, Rogers has walked just one batter — and that was intentional. 

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