D-backs hope to ride Marte past Giants

mlb12GIANTS (31-42) AT DIAMONDBACKS (38-38)
9:40 p.m. ET; FS-A, NBCSBA, MLB.TV

The Arizona Diamondbacks are eager to see two things: a team other than the Colorado Rockies, and Ketel Marte at the plate.

Arizona, coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the visiting Rockies, opens a three-game series in Phoenix on Friday against the San Francisco Giants. The D-backs have lost eight of 10 games overall to Colorado, including a 6-4 defeat on Thursday, when they blew a 4-3 lead in the ninth before falling in the 10th.

“These are tough times right now,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Losing three in a row, with the way we lost a couple of these games, is a very tough situation we’re walking through.”

As for Marte, he went 4-for-6 on Thursday, giving him four consecutive games with at least three hits. He has multiple hits in five games in a row and in eight of the past 10. The 25-year-old is hitting .523 (23-for-44) in those 10 games, raising his batting average from .268 to .305.

Marte, who already has a career-high 20 home runs, tied the franchise record for hits in a three-game series by going 10-for-15 vs. the Rockies. David Peralta (2018) and Luis Gonzalez (1999) also had 10 hits in a three-game set for Arizona.

“Ketel is the leader right now of this ball club in a lot of different areas,” Lovullo said Thursday on the MLB Network. “He’s done such a good job of managing his at-bats. He’s hitting for power, he’s hitting for average, he’s driving in runs, he’s been an offensive catalyst for us all season long.”

The Diamondbacks are going from facing the top-hitting team in the majors (Colorado, .272) to the second-worst-hitting team (San Francisco, .223).

The Giants have lost three consecutive games and four of five, although they might come in “hot” in a different sense. They rallied for four runs in the ninth at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday and had the tying run at second before Stephen Vogt was thrown out at third on a disputed call — even after replay — on an attempted sacrifice.

“The guys battled back hard,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’d like to know what they’re looking at in New York, because I saw it and I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I wish they could show me what they saw, because from what we saw — and I looked at it right after the game — he was safe at third.”

San Francisco is 2-4 against the D-backs this season.

Friday’s starter Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 3.96 ERA) suffered one of those losses to Arizona. He gave up five hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings on May 17, starting a stretch in which he has lost five of his past six starts. The right-hander is 3-5 with a 4.18 ERA in 18 career appearances (13 starts) vs. the Diamondbacks.

Arizona will counter with rookie righty Taylor Clarke (1-2, 5.34), whose only career victory against the Giants came on May 25, when he gave up three runs (two earned) and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He has allowed 14 earned runs in 15 innings in his four starts since then.

Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed left Thursday’s game with a left hand contusion after getting hit by a pitch, but Lovullo said the injury was not serious and that there was a chance Ahmed could start Friday.

–Field Level Media

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