Merrill Kelly will try to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the Major League Baseball record book on Wednesday when he seeks to put an end to his club's 21-game road losing streak in a matchup with the San Francisco Giants.
The Diamondbacks appeared headed to their first road win since April 25 when they jumped on the Giants for seven runs in the first two innings Tuesday.
But the National League West leaders extended the visitors' misery after Mike Yastrzemski completed a rally by belting a grand slam in the eighth inning. The Giants went on to post a 9-8 victory.
The loss moved the Diamondbacks within one of tying the record of 22 consecutive road defeats, currently shared by the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics and 1963 New York Mets.
Arizona also has dropped 12th straight overall.
Kelly (2-6, 5.14 ERA) has pitched three times away from home during the road skid. He allowed just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Mets on May 8, permitted three runs in seven frames in a setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 20 and four earned runs in six innings in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on June 5.
One of his two wins this season came on the road at Washington on April 15.
The 32-year-old Kelly has pitched just one time at Oracle Park, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings of a 6-3 loss on June 28, 2019.
Overall, Kelly owns a 2-1 record with a 2.57 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.
He'll be facing an opponent riding high after Tuesday's improbable comeback.
"A lot of it had to do with the resilient nature of this club," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. "I don't feel like we ever thought we were out of that game. We could see multiple paths to get back into it and even win it, even after the rough first few innings and how everything started.
"Just a lot of pride from the players for just grinding through that game and giving Yaz a chance to get that big hit."
The one-run defeat was the Diamondbacks' fifth during their road losing streak. This one likely had to sting more than most, although Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said every loss hurts.
"We're grinding right now," Lovullo insisted. "I don't know where it's at, what's been happening, or the reasons, but we're working hard to figure that out. I know one thing: We didn't come up here to San Francisco to get our (butt) kicked four games in a row."
The Diamondbacks can only hope to get off to a similar start against Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (6-2, 3.09) on Wednesday.
Josh Rojas and Ketel Marte had hits and scored runs in each of the first two innings, during which the Diamondbacks put up four runs in the first and and three in the second.
DeSclafani has made six previous starts against the Diamondbacks, going 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA.
The Giants will be seeking a third straight win in the series. They got the jump on the Diamondbacks with a 5-2 win on Monday, aided by Brandon Belt's two doubles.
The veteran had a single, double and triple in Tuesday's win, giving him three multiple-hit games in eight outings since returning from an oblique injury on June 8.
--Field Level Media