Goldschmidt key to Diamondbacks’ success at Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Paul Goldschmidt will attempt to build upon a lifetime of success at AT&T Park when he leads the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Francisco Giants in the middle contest of their three-game series Tuesday night.
Goldschmidt tripled in a run and scored moments later on A.J. Pollock’s sacrifice fly in the first inning of Monday’s series opener, providing all the Diamondbacks’ offense in a 2-1 win.
The triple was his third in 273 at-bats in San Francisco, adding to an impressive log that also includes nine home runs and 16 doubles.
The RBI was his 42nd at AT&T Park, the second-most among active Giants opponents, trailing only Matt Kemp, who has 47.
Goldschmidt took the field in a 3-for-30 slump this season, and only improved on the .100 batting average slightly with his 1-for-4 in the game.
His manager, Torey Lovullo, assured he’s not worried.
“I think it’s of minimal concern. I don’t feel like it’s going to linger,” he predicted. “I think he’s going to go 30 (homers)-100 (RBIs). It’s just something he does every year. I know right now it’s not clicking for him, but I think it will shortly.”
Few Giants pitchers over the years have had much luck against Goldschmidt, but right-hander Johnny Cueto is one of them. The Diamondbacks slugger has a .259 career average with two home runs in 27 at-bats against the veteran.
Cueto is off to a fast start this season, having pitched the Giants to wins in each of his first two starts while allowing just one run in 13 innings.
He was near-perfect in his season debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers, retiring the first 18 batters he faced before leaving a scoreless game after seven innings with a one-hit shutout.
Cueto is 11-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy left AT&T Park on Monday night not 100 percent sure Cueto would be his starting pitcher Tuesday.
The Giants are planning to promote right-hander Tyler Beede from the minors for a start at some point this week.
That initially was supposed to happen Wednesday, but Bochy has since had second thoughts, thinking perhaps Cueto would benefit from another day’s rest.
The Giants are expected to announce their plans early enough on Tuesday so that Beede could join the team if called upon to make his major league debut the same day.
Arizona will feature a fast-starting pitcher of their own in left-hander Patrick Corbin, who threw 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit, in a home start against the Dodgers last Wednesday.
Corbin has gone 5-7 with a 3.33 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) overall against the Giants. He has had less success (1-4 with a 4.61 ERA) in seven starts in San Francisco.
A thorn in Corbin’s side has been Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who has a .455 career batting average against the lefty. Among his 15 hits in 33 at-bats have been four doubles, a triple and four homers, which computes to a whopping 1.514 OPS.
Pence went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position in Monday’s loss, the Giants’ second 2-1 defeat in a row.
“The pitching’s been there,” Bochy said of his club’s 4-5 start. “We’ve gotta start doing a better job with runners on base. We’re just getting shut down more than we should.”