Major League Baseball

Giants, D-backs kick off critical 4-game series

GIANTS (60-61) AT DIAMONDBACKS (61-60)
9:40 p.m. ET; FS-A, NBCSBA, MLB.TV

The Arizona Diamondbacks, still trying to do more than run in place, return home Thursday for the start of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, a fellow chaser in the National League wild-card race.

Arizona goes into the set in Phoenix coming off a 7-6 walk-off loss at Colorado on Wednesday, failing in a bid to get to three games over .500 for the first time since mid-June. Nolan Arenado’s two-run homer off recently installed closer Archie Bradley sunk the D-backs in the ninth inning.

“It sucks. It totally sucks,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, whose team took the lead in the top of the ninth on Ketel Marte’s RBI double.

“The heartbreak of a game like that … to lose that game in that fashion definitely hurts. However, at some point I’m going to turn the page and get ready for the next series. We don’t have a chance to shut down or feel sorry for ourselves.”

The D-backs were 38-35 on June 16 before losing their next five games. They have been two games over .500 six times since, but they lost the next game each time.

Despite the painful loss on Wednesday, the Diamondbacks took two of three games from the Rockies.

San Francisco absorbed a 9-5 loss on Wednesday to the visiting Oakland A’s to end a three-game winning streak and fall one game below. 500. The Giants went 4-5 on a homestand that began with visits from the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies.

Manager Bruce Bochy announced after Wednesday’s game that the Giants would call up right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (4-6, 5.32 ERA) to make the Thursday start. Rodriguez last pitched for Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 7, going seven innings and allowing two runs.

His last start for the Giants was Aug. 1 at Philadelphia, where he gave up seven runs (four earned) and eight hits in three-plus innings during a 10-2 loss.

“I was frustrated last time, but it is what it is,” Rodriguez said on KNBR.com about making multiple trips to the minors this year after a standout rookie season in which he went 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA. “It’s part of the game. You just got to adapt.”

Rodriguez has allowed four runs in four innings in four relief appearances against the D-backs this season. He is 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in six career appearances (two starts) vs. Arizona.

Diamondbacks rookie left-hander Alex Young (4-2, 3.32 ERA) is set to make his eighth career start — second against San Francisco. He made his major league debut on June 27 against the Giants, allowing one run and three hits in five innings to get the win in a 5-1 decision.

Young has lost in his past two starts, including a 3 1/3-inning stint on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who touched him up for four runs, five hits and three walks.

The Giants activated outfielder Alex Dickerson on Wednesday after he missed 12 games because of a right oblique strain. Dickerson did not start in the loss to Oakland but had a pinch-hit RBI groundout in the eighth. He is hitting .382 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 31 games with San Francisco after being acquired from the San Diego Padres on June 10.

The Giants won’t have corner infielder Pablo Sandoval, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday because of right elbow inflammation.

–Field Level Media

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