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D-backs Swept as Late Rally Comes Up Short

Poor offense, short starts, base running outs and late bullpen collapses were the theme for this series against the Blue Jays.

The Diamondbacks were unable to salvage the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, losing 7-5.  The offense once again was unable to manufacture runs early, the bullpen again imploded late, and a 9th inning rally came up short.  It's the second time in July they've dropped four games in a row, as they've struggled to a 3-8 record. 

Coming into this game D-backs had seen their offense dry up in their previous 13 games games, scoring just 38 runs and batting just .215 over that stretch. 

Bluejays Starter Yusei Kikuchi lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on just two hits, but three walks four strikeouts. The first run came in the first inning when Lourdes Gurriel was hit by a pitch with two outs, followed by a walk, and throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Gurriel made a great slide to beat the throw at the plate. 

Gurriel Jr. tried his best to keep his team in the game, collecting two hits and making two solid defensive plays to thwart Toronto scoring chances. In the bottom half of the inning, he made an impressive catch that took away an RBI extra base hit from Matt Chapman.

The second D-backs run came home when Nick Ahmed doubled with two outs, stole third, and scored on a pick wild pitch by Kikuchi.  Despite these gifts, the offense could not break through. An opportunity was missed in the 7th when Jake McCarthy got picked off first base by catcher Danny Jansen on a back pick with runners on first and second. It was the second time this series McCarthy was picked off and the D-backs 5th out on base in the series.  

Spotted a 2-0 lead, Tommy Henry tried his best to keep Arizona in the game, but a long second inning cut his start short. Henry lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, one walk, and struck out five. A key sequence of batters in the second inning seemed to be his undoing, as he gave up back-to-back run-scoring hits to Santiago Espinal and Kevin Kiermaier that allowed Toronto to tie the game. The third run scored on a sacrifice fly after Henry had left the game with one out in the 5th. 

It was still just a 3-2 ballgame heading to the bottom of the 8th when Scott McGough came in. After a groundout the inning quickly got away from him, as he surrendered a double, a walk, a single  to load the bases. Danny Jansen's bases clearing double broke open the game open. Jansen later scored on a base hit given up by Justin Martinez.  McGough gave up two runs yesterday, for a total of six runs allowed  in the series while recording just four outs.  He's now given up 10 runs in his last 6.2 innings, and seen his ERA rise from 2.41 on June 25th to 3.78 after today's game.

The D-backs tried to rally in the 9th. Mitch White issued three walks to load the bases and with two outs Ketel Marte cleared them with a double off Erik Swanson. Emmanuel Rivera then flew out to center ending the game. 

The D-backs had just four hits in the game and could not capitalize enough on the eight walks they drew. They were just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.  Among their many problems during this team wide slump, lack of situational hitting is pretty high up on their list. Since June 28th they've gone just 19-for-94, .202 in those situations.  

With this latest loss the D-backs have dropped to 52-42 and 3rd place in the NL West behind the Giants who passed them up today with a victory over Pittsburgh. The're now in the third wild card position and hanging on by a thread to a playoff spot.  

The D-backs  will need to find their offense soon, as they face the Atlanta Braves once again after a travel day tomorrow. The Braves took two of three at Chase Field last month and have since gone on to become the best team in MLB in terms of win-loss record at 61-31. Arizona will send right-hander Zach Davies (1-5, 6.37 ERA) to face All-Star right-hander Bryce Elder (7-2, 2.97 ERA). First pitch at Truist Park will be 7:20pm ET, 4:20pm MST.