Chacin battles Greinke, but Brewers fall 2-1 in Arizona
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense remains in something of a slumber. Strong pitching and one timely hit was enough to end their six-game losing streak.
Daniel Descalso singled home Jarrod Dyson with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
The Diamondbacks opened the game with the worst batting average in the majors (.223) and learned earlier in the day they had lost A.J. Pollock for four-to-eight weeks with a fractured left thumb.
They then managed just three hits against starter Jhoulys Chacin and three relievers, but starter Zack Greinke stifled Milwaukee over six innings and Arizona tied together just enough offense to get by.
Taylor Williams (0-1) walked Jeff Mathis, the No. 8 hitter, to start the Arizona eighth. Dyson ran for Mathis and took second on pinch-hitter John Ryan Murphy’s sacrifice bunt.
Left-hander Boone Logan relieved Williams and got David Peralta to ground out. Chris Owings was walked intentionally to get to the left-handed Descalso, who singled through the defensive shift in right field to put Arizona ahead.
Murphy’s bunt wouldn’t have been a preferred strategy for Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, who isn’t so keen on playing small-ball. But these are not normal times.
“When everything’s clicking, we can put up some runs in a hurry,” he said. “But during this period of time I felt like it was something I needed to pay close attention to to help us get some runners in scoring position and put some pressure on the opposition.”
“I don’t really believe in pinch-bunting, to be honest with you,” he added. “Sometimes you’ve got to do something a little bit out of the norm.”
Brewers manager Craig Counsell was bothered mostly by the walk to Mathis.
“It is the walk that hurts you there. It is the walk,” Counsell said. “You think the bottom of the lineup you gotta throw strikes to guys, and the walk ends up hurting you.”
It was Arizona’s first lead since Greinke’s previous start five games ago.
Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger combined to allow one hit in three scoreless innings of relief for Arizona, striking out five.
“I was having trouble with their offense all game,” Greinke said. “They (the three relievers) seemed to do it with an easier job than it was for me.”
Bradley (1-1) struck out two in a perfect eighth to get the victory. Boxberger tossed a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.
Both starters were strong but left with no decision.
Chacin was especially impressive, limiting Arizona to a run on two hits in seven innings. He fanned seven and walked two. The only run he gave up scored on a double play.
“He pitched beautifully,” Counsell said.
Greinke allowed a run on four hits, striking out five and walking one.
It was Greinke’s second straight no-decision despite a good outing. He allowed a run on four hits in seven innings against Washington, a game the Diamondbacks lost 2-1 in 11 innings.
Brewers: OF/1B Ryan Braun was out of the lineup for the second game in a row with back tightness.
Diamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb (shoulder) had the day off from his rehab assignment with Class A Visalia but is to go through a complete pre-game workout and play in the game Wednesday.
This marks the third straight season Pollock has gone down with a significant injury. He missed virtually all of 2016 after fracturing his elbow in a head-first slide at home in the team’s final preseason game. He missed nearly two months last season with a groin injury.
Pollock was second in the National League with 33 RBIs when he was hurt. He was batting .293 with a team-high 11 home runs.
RH Matt Koch (2-1, 2.43 ERA) starts for Arizona and RH Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 8.03) goes for Milwaukee in an afternoon game that wraps up the three-game series. It wraps up a seven-game Diamondbacks homestand.