PHOENIX (AP) — Jason Vosler had the best view of Austin Slater‘s tying pinch-hit homer, watching in awe from the on-deck circle as the ball sailed some 460 feet before bouncing around the seats in the second deck at Chase Field.
The rookie’s own drive that followed wasn’t quite as picturesque, but it certainly got the job done.
Vosler snapped an eighth-inning tie with his first major league home run and the San Francisco Giants rallied past Arizona 5-4 on Wednesday night, handing the Diamondbacks their 10th straight defeat.
“There was pressure to follow that up,” Vosler said of Slater’s no-doubter to left field. “I’m glad I had a good at-bat after him.”
The back-to-back homers from Slater and Vosler marked just the beginning of the drama for the Giants. Tyler Rogers pitched out of a huge jam in the ninth, sending Arizona to another agonizing loss and its longest skid since 2010.
The 27-year-old Vosler was called up Wednesday from Triple-A Sacramento to replace injured first baseman Brandon Belt on the roster. The rookie — who had a short stint with the Giants earlier this year — entered in the sixth inning when another first baseman, Darin Ruf, left with an apparent injury.
San Francisco trailed 4-0 early and 4-2 going into the eighth before Donovan Solano led off with a double. Slater tied the game when he crushed a two-out homer down the left field line, flipping his bat as he trotted toward first and watched the ball land deep in the seats.
“That one felt pretty good off the bat,” Slater said.
Then it was Vosler’s turn. The lefty batter worked a full count before turning on a fastball and driving it down the right field line into the Giants’ bullpen.
“I would be lying if I told you I remember all of it,” Vosler said. “It was kind of a blur.”
Both homers came off Alex Young (1-4), who had been one of the Diamondbacks’ most effective relievers this season.
Young said he thought he made decent pitches to Slater and Vosler, but the outcome was obviously not what he wanted — especially since the team is stuck in a long losing streak.
“Any mistake that happens, it feels like the end of the world,” Young said.
Arizona loaded the bases with one out in the ninth on three singles off Rogers, but the submarining right-hander struck out Ketel Marte and got Eduardo Escobar to ground out for his sixth save.
Nick Tropeano (1-0) tossed a hitless seventh for the win, and Jake McGee worked a scoreless eighth.
Merrill Kelly pitched six effective innings for the Diamondbacks, who looked as though they might finally end their lengthy slide.
Kelly has been one of the few bright spots this season for a team with the worst record in the National League at 18-32. The right-hander threw five scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the sixth. He allowed five hits, struck out six, walked none and left with a 4-2 lead.
Kelly has given up three runs or fewer in seven straight starts dating to April 21.
The Diamondbacks had a three-run second inning to open a 4-0 lead against starter Johnny Cueto. Josh Rojas hit a two-run single and Nick Ahmed brought home Josh Reddick with a base hit.
Cueto gave up four earned runs and hits over five innings. He struck out five and walked none.
Arizona has lost 19 of 22 overall.
FULL CAPACITY AT ORACLE
The Giants are allowing full-capacity crowds at Oracle Park starting with a home series that begins June 25 against Oakland.
The state of California announced that large outdoor venues like Oracle Park could operate at full capacity without social distancing guidelines.
Giants: Belt was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. … Ruf exited in the sixth with an apparent injury. He hit a single and made a hard turn around first base before grimacing and limping back to the bag.
Diamondbacks: Manager Torey Lovullo said first base coach Dave McKay had his spleen removed in a surgery earlier this week. The 70-year-old McKay was hurt in a dugout fall during spring training and hasn’t been at the ballpark for most of the season. … RHP Luke Weaver (shoulder strain) won’t throw for the next four weeks and will then be re-evaluated. … 1B Christian Walker (oblique strain) continues his rehab assignment at Triple-A Reno. … RHP Tyler Clippard (shoulder) had surgery on his right knee. Lovullo said Clippard’s shoulder is improving and was hopeful the knee surgery wouldn’t add to his time on the injured list.
The Giants travel to face the Los Angeles Dodgers for a four-game series. Neither team had announced a starting pitcher for Thursday’s game.
The Diamondbacks start a four-game series with St. Louis on Thursday. They’ll send out RHP Matt Peacock (1-1, 4.91 ERA) to face Cardinals RHP Carlos Martínez (3-4, 4.18).
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