Joe Ross gave up eight hits and eight earned runs in four innings on the mound in Phoenix, Arizona’s Chase Field, and Washington’s Nationals couldn’t climb out the hole their starter put them in in what ended up an 11-4 loss to Arizona’s Diamondbacks in the second game of the three-game series in the D-backs’ home.
Ross vs the D-backs: Joe Ross started the night with a 4.26 ERA, 14 walks, 28 Ks, and a .235/.328/.452 line against in six starts and 31 2⁄3 IP on the season, having given up two earned runs or fewer in five of six outings.
Last time out before tonight, the sinker-balling right-hander held the New York Yankees to two runs on three hits in five innings pitched, striking out seven, and walking five in what ended up a 3-2 loss in which he received no decision.
Davey Martinez talked after that outing about it being an important lesson for Ross, who was able to navigate a tough lineup even in a start in which he did not have his best stuff.
“It was absolutely great,” the manager said, “... and especially for him too, knowing that, ‘Hey, I can get through this. My stuff wasn’t great today, but I can get through it.’ And he gave us everything he had.”
Going up against the D-backs tonight, Ross took the mound with a 1-0 lead, but gave up back-to-back hits, with Pavin Smith singling and Josh Rojas doubling to start the bottom half of the inning before both scored on a two-run single to left by Eduardo Escobar, 2-1.
David Peralta lined a single to left for the fourth straight hit to start the inning, and Escobar scored one out later on the fifth hit of the inning, 3-1, on an RBI single to center by catcher Daulton Varsho.
Ross worked around a two-out single in the third, and recorded two quick outs in the fourth, but a HBP, walk, and three-run home run followed, with Escobar making Ross pay on a two-seamer up in the zone and over the middle, 6-2 D-backs on the home run to right field.
A single and a walk in the bottom of the fifth, ended Ross’s outing after 86 pitches overall...
Joe Ross’s Line: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 86 P, 55 S, 5/2 GO/FO.
Frankoff vs the Nats: Signed by Arizona, after he made his MLB debut with Chicago’s Cubs in 2019, and pitched for the Seattle Martinez in 2020, Seth Frankoff, a 32-year-old, 2010 27th Round pick by the Oakland Athletics, got called up by Arizona when Zac Gallen was placed on the 10-day injured list by the Diamondbacks earlier this week.
In his fourth big league appearance, and first start, the right-hander got in trouble early, as in two pitches in, with Trea Turner doubling to left and moving up on a wild pitch in the at bat that followed, before Josh Harrison walked, and Juan Soto brought in the first run of the game with a groundout, 1-0 Nationals.
Frankoff’s teammates picked him up with a three-run bottom of the first, but he gave one back in the top of the second.
Josh Bell singled to left field to start the top of the inning, moved up on a one-out sac bunt by pitcher Joe Ross, and scored on a two-out RBI single to center by Victor Robles, who got his third RBI of the series (after driving in one run in his first 33 games this season), 3-2 AZ.
It was 6-2 D-backs in the fifth, when Frankoff had an ROE and one- and two-out walks load the bases in front of Kyle Schwarber... that was it for the starter.
Seth Frankoff’s Line: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks, 90 P, 49 S, 7/1 GO/FO.
Rando Espino Note: Paolo Espino gave the Nationals two innings in relief in Friday’s game, with Max Scherzer less than 100% health-wise and the game out of hand early, but he did give up a hit in his second inning of work, which snapped a streak of 25 consecutive outs which stretched back to his first relief appearance of the season on April 24th.
“Combined with his final relief appearance of the 2020 season (9/27/20 vs. NYM),” the Nats wrote in their pregame notes, “Espino retired 27 consecutive batters,” as a reliever, which...
“According to the Elias Sports Bureau...was the longest streak of retired batters by a reliever in Nationals’ history (2005-pres.).
“He passed Justin Miller’s streak of 24 batters from May 29-June 13, 2018.”
Bullpen Action: D-backs’ lefty Alex Young took over in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and Kyle Schwarber at the plate, and struck Schwarber out on three pitches, still 6-2 Arizona.
Sam Clay came on for the Nationals in the bottom of the fifth, with two on and no one out after Joe Ross gave up a single and a walk to start the frame. Clay got out No. 1 on a force out at second, but with runners on the corners and one down, a wild pitch allowed one in, making it 7-2 D-backs.
Andrew Young’s pinch hit single in the at bat that followed made it 8-2.
Andrew young makes it 8-2. pic.twitter.com/Gkdzo92zfW— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) May 16, 2021
Taylor Clarke retired the Nationals in order in a 16-pitch sixth.
Wander Suero retired the first two batters he faced in the D-backs’ 6th, but David Peralta crushed a 1-1 curve up and in and hit it out to right for a solo shot, 9-2 Arizona.
Clarke returned to the mound in the seventh and gave up a run with Victor Robles doubling with one out, moving up on a wild pitch, and scoring on a Trea Turner groundout, 9-3 D-backs.
Joe Mantiply took over after Josh Harrison singled off Clarke, and gave up a single by Juan Soto before striking Kyle Schwarber out to end the threat.
Will Harris retired the D-backs in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Joe Mantiply gave up a two-out single by Yan Gomes in the eighth, before Yoan López took over against pitch hitter Ryan Zimmerman and got an out at second on a grounder back up the middle.
Austin Voth gave up a two-out single by Josh Rojas and Eduardo Escobar’s second homer of the game in the bottom of the eighth, 11-3.
López came back out for the top of the ninth and gave up back-to-back, one-out hits, a single by Trea Turner and a double by Josh Harrison.
Juan Soto stepped in with two in scoring position and brought in a run with a single to the right side, 11-4. Kyle Schwarber lined out for out No. 2. Starlin Castro walked, loading them up for Josh Bell, who worked the count full and sent a fly to left to end it.
Final Score: 11-4 Diamondbacks
Nationals now 15-20