PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Zach Davies failed to escape the fourth inning for a second straight start as the Cleveland Guardians piled on the hits in a 12-3 victory at Chase Field on Father’s Day.
The D-backs drew a packed crowd of 42,031 for the celebration, but the first goal of the game that resulted in an error by shortstop Nick Ahmed foreshadowed a game to forget.
Davies came up with two outs and two runners on in the fourth, both of whom scored after reliever Jose Ruiz surrendered a triple to Andres Gimenez. The score when Davies’ book was closed was 9-1.
He faced 22 batters, striking out 13 and allowing nine hits, eight earned runs and one walk to jump start a disastrous six-run fourth.
The veteran felt after the game that he needs to simplify.
“When you’re not at your best, you’re throwing things out of bounds, you’re getting chased, it’s just about having fun in my mind,” Davies said. “(I’m) stressing too much about game plans and what this guy can and can’t do instead of, ‘I’m here for a reason’. I have a story I can rely on.’ I think getting back to that is what’s going to be successful for me.”
Manager Torey Lovullo explained that Davies’ command of the fastball was off, which prevented him from reaching the count to release his changeup.
Davies also had to maneuver a 15-minute delay in the first game caused by the lights going out at Chase Field.
The game was delayed late in the first by what the D-backs described in a statement as a “temporary power outage that affected some lights and sound.”
Davies walked around, pitched to the cage and passed information during the stoppage, but he allowed three hits over the first four batters he faced after the break.
The veteran’s ERA fell to 7.11 after the outing. It’s 7.66 in 22.1 innings since returning from an oblique strain on May 27.
Arizona went 3-4 during this last home workout, in which four of seven starts didn’t last five innings. The D-backs understand that adding pitching is a priority, with multiple executives saying arms will be the focus at the trade deadline.
Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have nine quality starts each. Tommy Henry is next at four and no one else has more than three.
Lovullo called Davies’ last two starts “uncharacteristic,” but he emphasized the need for his players to get deeper into games.
“We need our players to step up and get into that fifth, sixth round,” Lovullo said. “When it happens, we’re able to guard the post, maneuver it and put guys in the right situation for success.”
Lovullo returned to Ruiz, Drey Jameson and Austin Adams before the ninth inning when Josh Rojas took the second pitching strike.
Rojas, in what Lovullo called a moment of levity on a “tough day” at the office, pitched a scoreless outing in which he struck out Cleveland’s talented Bo Naylor and produced a four-run performance All-Star times. Jose Ramirez.
The hit came on a Johnny Cueto-inspired swing, and the remaining fans at Chase Field gave Rojas a standing ovation.
Josh Rojas did his best Johnny Cueto impression for his first career hit. 😆
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 18, 2023
Cleveland produced 16 hits, five for extra bases including three triples on Sunday.
Arizona’s offense, meanwhile, had to play catchup all game, but finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Christian Walker was the top hitter with three runs. He also brought home two on a double, but Lovullo pulled him in for Rojas to run in the fifth inning.
The score was out of control and Lovullo said he wanted to give Walker some rest before the next trip.
Walker had a scorching homestand, finishing 11-for-26 with four doubles and three home runs.
Christian Walker – Arizona Diamondbacks (15)
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) June 18, 2023
Ahmed reached base four times with two hits on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks have seven road games in the upcoming trip without a day off until June 26. One of the games will be in Washington against the Nationals to make up for the postponement caused by air quality on June 8.
Arizona will start in Milwaukee, where Merrill Kelly, Ryne Nelson and Zac Gallen are positioned to play. He goes to Washington and then to San Francisco for three games against the Giants before returning.
“I mean, this team has done a great job all year of cleaning things up and turning the page,” Walker said. “We’ve been playing really well, not letting it change anything and preparing every day in the same way, so nothing will change. We’ll wash this off and be ready tomorrow.”
D-Defenders said in a statement that the outage was “part of a power surge for our downtown power grid.”
Lovullo said discussions on the ground included opening the panels to let in more light, which didn’t happen. The stadium never went dark, but it was dark enough that Lovullo felt it was unsafe to play until backup systems restored enough power to light the field.
Brandon Pfaadt threw six innings of three-run ball Sunday for Triple-A Reno. He struck out six and allowed three solo home runs as his ERA in the minors this year is 3.89.
D-backs prospect Dominic Canzone went 2-for-3 with a home run after hitting two yesterday. He is hitting .411 in his last 30 games.
The next one
The D-backs will face Brewers ace Corbin Burnes (3.44 ERA) on Monday night at 5:10 p.m.
Kelly has a 2.87 ERA over his last six starts, though he gave up three earned runs in six innings against the Brewers in April.
Watch the game on ESPN 620 AM and 98.7 FM HD-2.