PHOENIX – The Kelly-Kelly battery made sure the Arizona Diamondbacks kept up their run of good baseball.
Arizona has won three of four since the All-Star break, playing arguably its best chunk of games all season.
“Just a really good, clean game,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I just want to emphasize that when we do things right, it looks very good. I want us to keep working hard every single day so we have more days like this.
“But it was all about Merrill today.”
The right-hander retired the first 15 batters he faced, then gave up a leadoff double to Luis Gonzalez in the sixth. The grounder down the first-base line wasn’t hit particularly hard, but stayed just inside the bag and well out of reach for first baseman Christian Walker.
“Today’s one of the better ones I’ve had all season,” Merrill Kelly said. “Fastball command was good, kept the changeup down for the most part, landed the curveball. Carson did a great job calling pitches. We had a lot of stuff working.”
It was a rare blemish in another stellar performance for the 33-year-old Kelly (10-5), who lowered his ERA to 3.04. He sliced through San Francisco’s lineup with precision, striking out seven and walking none.
“He had excellent command,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He just wasn’t in the middle of the plate very often. He was all over the corners. He mixes pitches well and worked fast, efficiently and with a ton of confidence.”
The struggling Giants have dropped five straight. They were swept by the rival Dodgers in a four-game series over the weekend.
Arizona’s Josh Rojas had two hits and an RBI. He also had a career-high three stolen bases – swiping second base once and third base twice – to push his season total to 11. Carson Kelly continued his recent tear with a two-run double in the sixth and another double in the eighth.
Jake McCarthy and David Peralta both had two hits.
Giants righty Jakob Junis (4-2) threw 4 1/3 innings, giving up one run and three hits. San Francisco’s bullpen had a tough night: Jarlin Garcia gave up a run without retiring a hitter, lefty Sam Long permitted three runs in the sixth and Gregory Santos allowed two runs.
The Giants fell to 48-48 this year. A loss Tuesday would drop them under .500 for the first time all season.
“We just have to really stay focused on the step right in front of us,” Kapler said. “It’s critical we bring out our toughest group right now. We’re going through a tough stretch and it has been disappointing.”
The Giants finished with three hits. Gonzalez had two of them, including the double that broke up the perfect game and a bunt single.
Diamondbacks: RHP Keynan Middleton left with an athletic trainer after getting two outs in the ninth. Lovullo said Middleton “felt a little pressure on the outside of his right lower leg” and is day-to-day.
Giants: Kapler told reporters 3B Evan Longoria has a Grade 1 hamstring strain and is likely out “a couple of weeks.” … OF Mike Yastrzemski (left calf soreness) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day but did make a pinch-hitting appearance … INF Tommy La Stella (COVID-19) was back with the team. Kapler told reporters there’s a “good chance” La Stella could be activated soon.
The teams meet again Tuesday night. The Giants will start LHP Carlos Rodon (8-5, 2.95 ERA) against LHP Tyler Gilbert (0-3, 5.34).