PHOENIX – The regression of Luke Weaver’s pitching career over the past two years has been a difficult thing to explain to everyone around the Diamondbacks. Dirty fastball is still there. So the above is the average off-speed repertoire.
He has been given a lot of chances to get it right. He also knows that if he does not improve soon there may not be many more.
“Enough was enough,” Weaver said.
The right-hander bowled a scoreless ball in the seventh inning for his best innings in nearly a month, which helped Arizona to a six-game loss with a 5–2 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Weaver (2-3), despite 6 1/3 innings, gave up four hits, hitting six sixes to dominate a team that had beaten them a week earlier in Miami.
Outstanding performance may have saved his place in the rotation. The 27-year-old has struggled for most of the past two seasons and had a 6.07 ERA in six overs coming in Monday’s game this year.
“It didn’t cut it,” Weaver said. “We are in a performance-driven game and you have to do your thing, show confidence in yourself and show your teammates and coaches.”
One of Weaver’s biggest problems was high pitch counts, which meant early exits and extra work for the bullpen. But he made quick work of the Marlins through six innings, needing just 65 pitches for strike – 51. He was pulled in the seventh after Corey Dickerson was dismissed. Taylor Clarke got the last two outs of the innings.
It was a much-needed win for the Diamondbacks, who were sunk in the standings after a six-game road trip that included a three-game sweep by the Marlins and Mets. Scored just 12 runs all week.
Arizona’s bats were slightly better on Monday. David Peralta had a triple and a double, and Asadrubal Kabrera added a two-run double.
“I felt like we had to turn back and show what we were capable of,” said Basin Christian Walker. “When I think of Diamondbacks baseball, that’s what I think.”
The Marlins scored their only run in the eighth when Jesúz Egiller struck out a two-run homer on the left-hand side of Joakim Soria. It was his seventh long ball of the season.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly was disappointed that his lineup did not hold many deep counts against Weaver, a batsman who could not walk and never went for a three-ball count.
“It’s been a tough fight,” Mattingly said. “It was very easy.”
Stephen Crickton threw a scorching ninth to make his fourth save. Right fielder Pavin Smith stole a solo homer from pinch-hitter Sandy Lyon for the final out, just before jumping over the fence and snatching the ball.
Jordan Holloway (1-1) gave up four runs in 3 3/3 innings in his first career debut.
The 24-year-old Holloway, performing brilliantly in his first six big league sixes, hit six sixes over 10 1/3. But with the Diamondbacks quickly leaping to the right, Smith and Carson Kelly ignited the offense with back-to-back doubles to open the bottom of the first.
Arizona managed only one run in the first run despite loading the bases with no outs. The Diamondbacks led 4–0 in the third when they reached the base of the third four batters. Cabrera’s right-field line twice came home with two runs.
Walker outscored the Diamondbacks 5–0 in the fifth.
“We could have scored a few more, but after grinding through a six-game losing streak, it was a resounding win,” manager Tory Lovullo said.
The Marlins tied one of their few offensive opportunities in the sixth when Magnissior Sierra was selected first base after his leadoff single.
The play was close and Walker missed the tag, but there was a problem: Mattingly did not have a second challenge as his appeal failed in the fifth.
Sierra stood at first base for a minute, looking towards Mattingly, who was leaning against the rail. Finally, the manager flaps his palms as if asking “what do you want me to do?”
Sierra finally realizes that she is out of luck and sprints to the back.
Diamondbacks: Lovullo said that Kettle Mart (hamstring) will be at Chase Field on Tuesday to go through some practice so that the team will see his progress, especially when it comes to running. … RHP Taylor Weidner (strained waist) threw a bullpen and Lovullo said the session was good.
The Diamondbacks sent out LHP Madison Bumgner (3-2, 4.91 ERA) to face Marinsins RHP Pablo Lopez (0-2, 2.04). Bumorgan has performed brilliantly in his last four overs, scoring just three earned runs in 23 innings.
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