PHOENIX (AP) — A 10-inning loss on Wednesday night stung the Arizona Diamondbacks. They let too many opportunities slip away and put their run of series victories in jeopardy.
A dominant performance by Zack Greinke and clutch hitting kept the streak going.
Greinke pitched seven stingy innings and the Diamondbacks won their sixth straight series with a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.
“Yesterday was a tough night, I’m not going to lie,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Probably a little frustrated because we thought we let that game get away from us. But for us to bounce back the way we did and hold down a pretty good team defensively and cash in when we needed to to win this series speaks volumes about our toughness.”
Greinke (2-1) gave up a solo homer to Brandon Belt but not much else, allowing just three hits to win his second consecutive start.
A.J. Pollock homered off Ty Blach (1-3), and Ketel Marte also had a solo shot to help the Diamondbacks take two of three from the Giants to match the best start in franchise history (2008) at 13-5. Arizona had never opened a season with more than two straight series wins.
Brad Boxberger got Belt to pop out with two on in the ninth inning for his fifth straight save to open the season, a night after allowing the go-ahead homer to Belt in the 10th inning.
San Francisco has yet to win a series this season.
“That is what you want, guys playing until the end,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
“We got a couple of baserunners on — it didn’t happen. We’ve got to find a way to start taking some series here.”
Belt’s homer in the Giants’ 4-3 victory Wednesday was the 100th of his career and he made it 101 with a solo shot off Greinke in the second inning.
Greinke gave up a single to Gregor Blanco in the third but no more hits after that, retiring 13 of his final 14 batters.
“Probably command was the biggest thing,” Greinke said. “I didn’t make too many mistakes, hit a lot of corners.”
Blach was sharp early after yielding four earned runs against San Diego in his previous outing.
David Peralta had a run-scoring single in the third. The left-hander left one up in the zone in the sixth and Pollock hit it out, the first home run Blach has allowed in five starts this season.
Blach permitted two runs and six hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and three walks.
“I felt like we were able to limit the damage when they got some runners on, kind of kept those innings from getting too big,” Blach said. “Just tried to keep the guys in the game and give them a chance.”
Giants: OF Hunter Pence is dealing with a sore thumb, so Bochy opted to hold him out of the lineup.
Diamondbacks: RF Chris Owings exited in the third after colliding with Pollock while catching a drive into the right-center gap hit by Joe Panik. Owings made a sliding grab, but appeared to be hit on the head by Pollock’s knee. He slowly made his way to the dugout after being attended to by a trainer. Lovullo said Owings has a bruise on the side of his head and will be evaluated.
The Diamondbacks optioned right-handed reliever Silvino Bracho to Triple-A Reno following the game.
Bracho appeared in one game this season, setting career highs with three innings and seven strikeouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. He is 0-2 with a save and a 5.34 ERA in parts of four seasons with Arizona.
Peralta went 1 for 4 and is 13 for 34 during an eight-game hitting streak. He has reached base in all 15 games he’s played this season.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija makes his season debut at the Los Angeles Angels on Friday after opening on the DL with a strained pectoral muscle.
Diamondbacks: RHP Matt Koch is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Reno on Friday in place of Taijuan Walker, who will undergo Tommy John surgery for a partially torn elbow ligament on April 25 in New York.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball