PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks faced a really good pitcher on Sunday, trailed for a decent chunk of the game and spent the majority of the afternoon struggling at the plate.
They won anyway.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drove home Christian Walker with a looping double down the left-field line in the ninth inning, leading the Diamondbacks to a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Arizona won three of four in the series and improved to 23-18 this season. For a team that's endured three straight losing seasons, Sunday's win was exactly what manager Torey Lovullo wanted to see as the D-backs try to become a factor in the NL West.
“To get to where we're going, we've got to beat guys like that and we've got to win games like that," Lovullo said. “As you push it forward, you're starting to play meaningful games late, you're going to see good arms and good pitching.
“I just want our guys to train for the opposing team's best effort.”
The pitchers' duel featured just seven hits — four for the Diamondbacks and three for the Giants.
Walker started the game-winning rally with a walk against Giants reliever Tyler Rogers (0-3). Gurriel followed and was out in front of Rogers' two-strike slider, but managed to hook it over the third baseman's head and down the line, allowing Walker to score all the way from first.
Walker is not necessarily a burner on the basepaths, but he got a good jump and scored easily.
Arizona also caught a break in that the Giants' outfielders were shaded toward right, which meant left fielder Blake Sabol had to run a long way for the ball before firing toward the infield.
“We generally play our defenders to the most likely spot the ball is going to be hit, based on spray charts,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Sabol did everything he could to hit the cutoff man and have a play at the plate, but we weren't able to convert.”
Michael Conforto started the scoring with a homer for San Francisco in the fourth — his seventh of the season. He fouled off three straight two-strike pitches before hitting a liner over the right-field fence on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
Giants right-hander Logan Webb didn't give up a hit until the fifth, when Gabriel Moreno hit a perfectly placed infield single that shortstop Brandon Crawford couldn't quite gather.
Geraldo Perdomo followed by grounding into a fielder's choice and then scored from first base on Josh Rojas' double down the first-base line that tied the game.
Webb threw seven strong innings, giving up one run on three hits, striking out three and walking three. The 26-year-old has been a workhorse for the Giants over the past couple of weeks, tossing at least seven innings in three straight starts.
“The wins haven't been coming our way, but we've been in pretty much every single game this season,” Sabol said. “The games are there for the taking. It's just a couple more shutdown innings and a couple more timely hits. Still like 120 games left, so still a lot of baseball left to play.”
Arizona rookie Brandon Pfaadt made his third career start and it was easily his best in the big leagues. The right-hander gave up just one hit — Conforto's homer — over five innings. He struck out five and walked three.
“I just wanted to go out there and trust myself,” Pfaadt said. “That's what we did today. Hopefully, we can get rolling after this.”
Miguel Castro (2-1) got the win with a scoreless ninth, striking out two.
Giants rookie Casey Schmitt has had a great start to his big league career, with 11 hits in his first 20 at-bats, including two homers.
Sunday was one of his first tough days — he struck out three times in four hitless at-bats.
Giants: Crawford was activated from the day 10-day injured list. INF David Villar was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Giants: Return home for a three-game series against the Phillies beginning Monday. The Giants will start LHP Alex Wood (0-0, 2.45 ERA) in the first game. The Phillies hadn't announced a starter.
Diamondbacks: Go on the road for a three-game series against the Athletics starting Monday. They'll start RHP Merrill Kelly (3-3, 3.18 ERA) in the first game. The A's will counter with RHP Drew Rucinski (0-3, 8.16).