SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ahead the whole way, the Arizona Diamondbacks watched in almost disbelief when Mike Yastrzemski connected.
And just like that, the Diamondbacks had inched even closer to a most dubious mark.
The Diamondbacks blew a seven-run lead and lost their 21st straight road game, one short of the major league record, when Yastrzemski hit a grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning that lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 9-8 victory Tuesday night.
Arizona led 7-0 in the second inning, but couldn’t hold on and lost its 12th in a row overall.
“Anytime you lose it hurts, but for it to be in that kind of fashion, a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, that one was tough,” Diamondbacks second baseman Josh Rojas said.
“It’d be a different story if we didn’t play a good game and came out of the blocks slow and they beat us down. It wasn’t just a home run. It was three inches from being foul. Down the line, hugged the pole, on a good pitch.”
Said Rojas: “That one stung. That one stung a lot.”
The Diamondbacks can match the record of 22 consecutive road defeats shared by the 1963 New York Mets and the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics when they play the Giants at Oracle Park on Wednesday night. Arizona hasn’t won on the road since April 25 at Atlanta.
“It wears you down,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “At some point we’re going to understand why we’re walking through this. I don’t want things to creep into the guys heads about feeling sorry for themselves. This is a big boy league. It’s a man’s game.”
The Giants trailed 8-5 when Belt doubled leading off the eighth against Humberto Castellanos (0-1). San Francisco loaded the bases with two outs and Yastrzemski launched a 1-2 pitch deep over the right field fence into McCovey Cove for his first career grand slam.
“Every single person in that dugout had the mindset that we were going to come back and win that game because that’s how we are,” Yastrzemski said. “I was just hoping it didn’t start hooking until after it got past the foul pole. Once it got past there it was pretty exciting.”
Steven Duggar also homered to help San Francisco to its seventh straight win over Arizona. Brandon Belt had three hits and scored three runs.
Jimmie Sherfy (1-0), the fifth of six pitchers used by Giants manager Gabe Kapler, retired three batters to win. Tyler Rogers pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Christian Walker had two hits and three RBIs for the Diamondbacks. David Peralta and Asdrúbal Cabrera drove in two runs apiece.
Giants starter Zack Little threw 17 pitches and allowed four hits and four runs without retiring a batter in his second start as an opener in the last seven days.
Arizona scored three times in the second and added a later run that helped it take an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
“We were in a good spot all the way through this game until the last inning,” Lovullo said.
Diamondbacks starter Alex Young allowed five hits and three runs in four innings in his first start since Sept. 23, 2020.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in the upper body. RHP Seth Frankoff was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Giants: INF/OF Darin Ruf may have to stay on the injured list longer than expected after being unable to run the bases with the intensity that the Giants hoped he would Monday, although Kapler declined to call it a setback. Ruf has been out since May 27 with a strained right hamstring.
RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-2, 3.09 ERA) faces the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. DeSclafani pitched a two-hit shutout against the Nationals on June 11. Arizona RHP Merrill Kelly (2-6, 5.14) makes his sixth career start against the Giants. Kelly enters the game holding opponents to a .235 average over his last four starts on the road.
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