D-backs edge Giants thanks to Salty's blast

D-backs edge Giants thanks to Salty's blast

PHOENIX -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was a late addition to the starting lineup due to an injury to catcher Welington Castillo, smacked a two-run homer that proved to be all the offense the D-backs would need as they defeated the Giants, 2-1, on Wednesday night to win the three-game series at Chase Field.

"You always have to be ready," said Saltalamacchia, who found out he was starting during batting practice. "You never know what's going to happen, especially in the catching position, so I just came to the field, did my normal routine."

With one out in the fourth, David Peralta doubled to left off Giants starter Chris Heston (11-10), and Saltalamacchia then hit a 2-2 pitch just to the left of the batter's eye in center to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.

The Giants got on the board in the sixth when Zack Godley (5-1) hit Alejandro De Aza with a pitch to start the inning and De Aza came around to score on Andrew Chafin's wild pitch.

San Francisco finished 3-7 on its three-city trip and slid from 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West race to 8 1/2 games back. The Giants also trail the Cubs by nine games in the chase for the second NL Wild Card spot.

Risky strategy: With two outs, the Giants had runners on first and third in the seventh and the always dangerous Buster Posey pinch-hitting. D-backs manager Chip Hale went against conventional baseball wisdom by having Randall Delgado intentionally walk Posey to put the potential go-ahead run at second base. The move paid off as Delgado got Angel Pagan to fly out to end the inning with the D-backs still up, 2-1.

Delgado escapes the jam

"I consult with my pitching coach Mike Harkey and Glenn Sherlock, the bench coach, and we all talked about it right before it happened, and to us it was a no-brainer, to be honest with you," Hale said. More >

Slip is showing: Marlon Byrd beat out a topped ground ball to open the fifth inning -- helped by Godley's wild throw -- but slipped as he started to turn for second base and was thrown out trying to get back to first. Gregor Blanco followed with a solid single, but the potential for a rally already was squandered.

Owings nabs Byrd rounding first

In the mix in 2016: Godley made his final start of the year as the team looks to manage his innings, but while he may not pitch much the rest of 2015, he's definitely put himself squarely in the mix for a rotation spot in 2016 with the way he's handled himself in his five big league starts. Four of the five starts were good with one clunker against the Cubs last Friday.

Godley holds Giants to one run

"Very good way to end his starting for us this year," Hale said. "He'll be in our 'pen and we'll use him here and there, but not too much. I think he's proven to us that he could be a force for us next year in the rotation."

Ignore the numbers: Heston pitched much better than his statistical line indicated. He worked 4 2/3 innings, faltering only when he surrendered Saltalamacchia's homer. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that at any other juncture of the season, he would have allowed Heston to pitch longer. But with a bullpen stocked with Minor League callups, Bochy sought the best matchups he could find in each inning.

Heston records fifth strikeout

Heston understood. "I'm just trying to take positives from every start into the next one," the rookie right-hander said.

Giants: Striving to stay on the fringes of the NL West and Wild Card races, San Francisco will give the ball to Jake Peavy, who will face his original team for just the third time, in Friday's 7:15 p.m. PT contest vs. the Padres.

D-backs: After taking Thursday off, the D-backs open a three-game series with the Dodgers on Friday night at Chase Field. Robbie Ray will start for the D-backs. The left-hander is looking for his first win since June 7.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.