The Arizona Diamondbacks have chosen a bad time to fall into an offensive slump.
The Diamondbacks, six games behind Cincinnati for the NL's second wild card, have totaled a single run in back-to-back losses. They left 18 runners on base over those two games and are 1 for their last 14 with runners in scoring position.
Arizona had runners on base in eight of nine frames of Friday's 1-0 loss to San Francisco."If you want to win those games you have to have better at-bats," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's all there is to it."
Miguel Montero , who struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning Friday, is 0 for his last 7 with runners in scoring position with three strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks (68-65) traded away Jason Kubel , one of their biggest disappointments, on Friday. Kubel was 14 for his last 99 (.141) with 39 strikeouts.
Arizona will try to avoid a prolonged offensive slump when it faces Vogelsong (3-4, 5.58 ERA), but that might not be easy. The right-hander was spectacular his last time out, surrendering two hits in eight scoreless innings of a 4-0 win against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"That's one of the best pitched games we've had," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was fun to watch. He put on a show on the art of pitching. He was comfortable throwing any pitch at any time."
Vogelsong has pitched very well since his return from a fractured right hand, posting a 2.55 ERA over four starts. He hasn't given up a run over his last 12 innings."I thought I was settling in over my last four innings against the Red Sox (on Aug. 20) and I just stayed with what's working," Vogelsong said. "I didn't throw the ball well before I got hurt and wasn't finding anything comfortable. The goal is to finish strong and I feel like I'm on the way to that."
Arizona, however, has had Vogelsong's number of late.
Vogelsong has a 10.54 ERA over his last three starts in the series, failing to escape the fourth inning in two of those. On April 22, Arizona scored four runs off him - including home runs by Eric Chavez and pitcher Wade Miley - in seven innings.
The Diamondbacks are hoping six days' rest is enough for Trevor Cahill after the right-hander pitched 11 innings in a three-day stretch.
Cahill (5-10, 4.39) surrendered one run and four hits in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati on Aug. 22, then pitched four scoreless innings of relief in Arizona's 12-7 victory over Philadelphia in 18 innings two days later.
Cahill had pitched very well against San Francisco - with a 2.52 ERA through his first eight starts - until June 8, when the Giants got to him for eight runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
The Giants (60-74) are 26-21 in games that Angel Pagan has played in this season. After missing more than three months with a strained right hamstring, he doubled in his first at-bat back Friday and scored the only run of the game.
Pagan has 31 runs in 46 games leading off for the Giants. They've gotten just 46 runs from the leadoff spot in the 88 games without Pagan at the top of the order.
"Good to have him back," Bochy said. "It was a lift for the club. Although we got shut down with the bats, we did something we haven't done a lot of and that's get an early run."
|San Francisco Giants|
|August 23, 2013||Matt Cain||15-Day DL||Right forearm contusion|
|August 22, 2013||Matt Cain||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm|
|August 22, 2013||Andres Torres||60-Day DL||Surgery, left Achilles - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Sore back|
|August 17, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Carpal tunnel syndrome|
|August 15, 2013||Sandy Rosario||Day-to-Day||Bruised sternum|
|August 24, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinky finger|
|August 12, 2013||Cody Ross||15-Day DL||Dislocated right hip|
|August 11, 2013||Cody Ross||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right hip|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|July 29, 2013||Miguel Montero||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have been pulling off comebacks all season, with seemingly a different player coming through each time.
This time, it was Eric Chavez 's turn.
Stuck in a rut since coming off the disabled list, Chavez hit the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning for a run-scoring single, sending the Diamondbacks to another walk-off victory, 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
"We've been good at it, it's just not a fun way to play baseball," Chavez said. "We've played so many extra-inning games, you just don't want to play like that. But we are good late. I don't know what that means, but that was a good one."
Arizona has had a knack for walking away with wins this season and pulled off another one against the Giants.
After Brad Ziegler (8-1) worked a perfect ninth, Willie Bloomquist opened the bottom half with a single off Sandy Rosario (3-2) for his third hit and moved up on Adam Eaton 's sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Paul Goldschmidt , Chavez lined his single into left-center for his fifth career game-ending hit, sending the Diamondbacks rushing out of their dugout to greet him.
It was Arizona's 12th walk-off victory this season and 29th comeback win.
It may also be the trigger that gets Chavez back in the groove he was in before going on the DL Aug 10 with a strained left knee.
Hitting .299 before the injury, he had gone hitless in 12 at-bats since coming off the DL, including an 0-for-4 start against the Giants.
Chavez ended the streak in dramatic fashion, lining a high fastball to the opposite field.
"He came to me during (batting practice) and said, `My swing stinks right now, but I might come through in a big spot,"' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He hung tough a got a good pitch."
San Francisco won the series opener 1-0 and rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the middle game.
Starter Ryan Vogelsong gave the Giants a chance with six effective innings, but the bullpen, which has been stellar let it slip away.
The run off Rosario was the second allowed by San Francisco's bullpen in 20 2-3 innings that past seven games.
Gregor Blanco hit a solo homer and Hunter Pence had three hits for the Giants.
"A hard fought game, the guys did well coming back," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They got the leadoff hitter and that puts pressure on you."
Vogelsong had been sharp since coming off the disabled list for a broken right hand, going 3-1 with a 2.55 ERA.
But the right-hander has struggled his second time through the order all season and Saturday was no different.
Vogelsong escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, but Arizona opened the fourth with three straight hits, the last a run-scoring single by Miguel Montero . Gerardo Parra followed with a sacrifice fly and Bloomquist made it 3-0 with a run-scoring single.
Opponents are hitting .349 against Vogelsong the second time through the order after the Diamondbacks went 5 for 6 with a walk and two sacrifices.
"In that one inning, I got a little loose mechanically and that had an effect on how sharp the pitches were," said Vogelsong, who allowed three runs on nine hits. "The rest of the game wasn't too bad."
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by getting Pablo Sandoval to fly out. Cahill was helped by double plays in the fourth and fifth.
He seemed to tire by the seventh inning, when Blanco hit his third pitch out to right for a homer and Marco Scutaro chased him with a run-scoring triple. Buster Posey tied the game at 3 later in the inning with a run-scoring single off Josh Collmenter .
Cahill yielded three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings.
"I had some guys on base all night and had to make some big pitches, just probably trying to do a little too much there at the end," Cahill said.
NOTES: Vogelsong singled in the fifth for his second hit in 24 at-bats this season. ... Arizona's Martin Prado is hitting .364 since the All-Star break after going 3 for 4. ... Giants CF Angel Pagan saved a run in the seventh with a diving catch on Aaron Hill 's liner. ... Arizona LHP Patrick Corbin will pitch the series finale Sunday after allowing eight earned runs in 5 1-3 innings against Philadelphia in his last start. ... RHP Yusmeiro Petit will make his second start for the Giants on Sunday. He earned his first victory in the majors since 2009 by allowing two runs over six innings against Colorado in his first start this season.