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Diamondbacks intentionally load bases to escape jam in 2-1 win over Giants


PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale turned to his coaches for a discussion about intentionally walking Buster Posey.

It didn't last long. Even with runners on the corners, there was no way they wanted to face San Francisco's best hitter late in a close game.

Zack Godley pitched six effective innings and the Diamondbacks escaped a seventh-inning jam by intentionally walking Posey to beat the Giants 2-1 on Wednesday night.

"Posey is one of the best in baseball and in this stadium he's lights out," Hale said. "We were willing to take our chances with Angel (Pagan) and move on."

Godley (5-1) was sharp in his last start before heading to the bullpen, allowing a run on three hits.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot off Chris Heston (11-10), and Ender Inciarte had three hits. Brad Ziegler retired the final five hitters for his 23rd straight save and 25th overall.

The big moment came in the seventh inning.

With one out and runners on the corners, Posey came to the plate. He had the night off from behind the plate, but with a close game there wasn't much decision about who to send up.

Instead of facing the NL's third-leading hitter — .329 entering Wednesday — the Diamondbacks took the somewhat-risky gamble to put him on and face Pagan.

Pagan had some previous success against Randall Delgado, but Arizona's right-hander came through with the biggest out of the game, inducing an inning-ending pop-up to shallow left field.

"I had no problem," Delgado said. "It was the right move to make and it worked out."

If the Giants fail to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, they can look at their performance in one-run games. The loss was San Francisco's 11th in 12 games decided by one run and their 17th overall.

The Giants had plenty of chances in this one, but couldn't come through, going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. San Francisco had five hits and has lost nine of 12 road games.

PHOTO: Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Godley throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

"We had a pretty good opportunity but we just couldn't get a hit," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team is 8 ½ games behind the Dodgers. "The one run that we got was on a wild pitch and that is not going to work."

Godley was making his last start of the season before being shifted to the bullpen to limit his innings.

He was sharp after struggling his last start — six runs in 3 2-3 innings — before hitting pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza on the foot with a curveball to open the sixth inning. Hale lifted him after 65 pitches and the Giants scored a run in the inning on Andrew Chafin's wild pitch.

"He pitched well and he was having fun out on the mound," Saltalamacchia said. "He was aggressive and not backing down."

Heston had a strong start to the season, including the first no-hitter by a Giants rookie in 103 years against the New York Mets on June 9.

The right-hander started to struggle once August rolled around, going 0-4 with a 5.28 ERA. He pitched well the last time out but had his winless streak stretched to six games after the Giants scored one run against Colorado.

Heston breezed through the first three innings before David Peralta led off the fourth with a ground-rule double. Saltalamacchia followed with a two-run homer to the deepest part of the ballpark in center.

Heston was lifted after intentionally walking Paul Goldschmidt — his team-record 25th of the season — with two outs in the fifth inning. Heston allowed two runs on five hits and struck five.

"I am just trying to build off all the positives I can," Heston said. "Try to finish strong and take positives from every start to the next one and try to get back on it."


Giants: RHP Matt Cain, who's been out with elbow nerve irritation, is expected to be activated from the DL on Thursday and work out of the bullpen. ... 2B Joe Panik left in the seventh inning with lower back pain.

Diamondbacks: C Wellington Castillo was scratched from the lineup with a sore left wrist, but was available to pinch hit. Saltalamacchia started in his place.


Giants: RHP Jake Peavy will pitch against San Diego on Friday in San Francisco after the Giants get a day off on Thursday.

Diamondbacks: Arizona has a day off before LHP Robbie Ray pitches the opener of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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PHOTO: San Francisco Giants' Alejandro De Aza scores on a wild pitch as Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Andrew Chafin waits for the throw during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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