SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Goldschmidt's encore performance Friday might not have been as flashy, but it was fruitful. Goldschmidt delivered two RBIs -- one day after he blasted three home runs against the Cubs -- to help the D-backs prevail against the Giants, 2-1, in the opening game of the weekend series at AT&T Park.
"The right guy in the right spot," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of Goldschmidt. "Every hitter, every player looks for runs like that. He's locked in; he's doing his job. Without him, we don't win this game."
Goldschmidt backed up Arizona starter Anthony Banda, the club's No. 4 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com. Banda (1-1), making a start in place of Robbie Ray, threw a gem in his second Major League start, allowing three infield hits and one run while striking out seven over six innings for his first big league win. His lone blemish came during the fourth when the Giants manufactured a run on two hits and two walks.
Fernando Rodney entered in the ninth and delivered a 1-2-3 inning for his third save in as many days. David Hernandez and Jorge De La Rosa each pitched a scoreless inning to keep Banda's chance at a win intact. With the victory, the D-backs remained a half-game ahead of the Rockies for the first National League Wild Card slot.
The Giants' offense had a relatively quiet night, save for Hunter Pence who went 2-for-3. But Brandon Belt, the team leader in homers and extra-base hits, was hit in the helmet by a 79 mph curveball in the sixth and had to exit the game with concussion symptoms. San Francisco plans to evaluate Belt further on Saturday. It was a scary moment for the Giants, who couldn't provide enough run support to back starter Madison Bumgarner (1-5). San Francisco's ace went seven innings for the second straight start, allowing both Arizona runs.
"He has one win, but you look at his ERA and how he's throwing the ball," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's why wins for a starter, you can throw that number out, really. He's probably agreeing with me right now. He's pitched well enough to have more than one win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Goldschmidt just misses one: Goldschmidt, who went 3-for-4, nearly ran into another big fly in the sixth. He launched a ball 362 feet with an exit velocity of 107.3 mph, according to Statcast™, during the sixth. It hit off the wall before Gorkys Hernandez fired the ball back to the infield. Nevertheless, he scored David Peralta from second to deliver another RBI.
"I know he's hot right now," Bumgarner said of Goldschmidt. "He's pretty much been hot all year. … I tried to make pitches, a couple of them not so great. Some were good. But sometimes when a guy's hot, there's just not much you can do. He's a great hitter."
Banda eludes trouble: Banda worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, allowing just one run. Kelby Tomlinson legged out a bunt, Buster Posey walked and Pence pounded a ball off Banda's glove for an infield single. Banda then walked in a run, but retired the next two Giants batters to keep the game tied.
"I think part of the game that impressed me the most was that particular inning, where things got away from him a little bit," Lovullo said. "He was spraying his fastball around, walked the run in. But he did enough to get out of the inning, and he even went [two] more beyond that. When things like that happen, it's a great learning experience and he did his job."
"He was unravelling and we couldn't take advantage of it with the bases loaded," Bochy said. "It didn't help matters."
"These guys got a really good team, and you're facing Bumgarner, one of the best pitchers in the game. It's probably a game where you can have that letdown game, but there was a lot of focus I saw before the game and during the game as well. Some good plays out there and guys did a good job. Low-scoring game, but glad to get the win." -- Goldschmidt
"We just couldn't figure out a young starter. It's not the first time this has happened. In fact, it happened a couple of days ago." -- Bochy, on Banda
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: Right-hander Taijuan Walker (6-5, 3.55 ERA) will look to pick up his first win since June 21 at 6:05 p.m. MST Saturday. Since getting his last win, Walker has gone 0-2 in his last six appearances despite carrying a 3.75 ERA.
Giants: The Giants will send Chris Stratton to the bump for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT contest. Stratton, taking the place of veteran Matt Cain, is making his second career Major League start. He allowed five runs on six hits with five walks over 6 2/3 innings in Detroit last month.