The Arizona Diamondbacks have to wait another week before hosting the National League wild-card game, but J.D. Martinez already is in postseason form. Martinez looks to maintain his torrid pace Wednesday as the Diamondbacks continue their three-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants, who need one victory over their final four games to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1985.
Martinez went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and six RBIs in Tuesday’s 11-4 victory, giving him 15 home runs this month and 28 in 58 games since joining Arizona in a trade with Detroit. The Diamondbacks clinched their first playoff berth since 2011 on Sunday and plan to play most of their regulars during this weekend’s series at Kansas City. “My thought is to continue playing the type of baseball we’ve played all year long and not take anything for granted,” manager Torey Lovullo told reporters. “And not take days off or ho-hum our way through the next several games, because no team is good enough to just turn that switch on and be ready for such an important game on Wednesday.” The Giants own the worst record in the majors at 62-96 but received an encouraging effort Tuesday from rookie reliever Reyes Moronta, who struck out the side in a scoreless sixth inning.
TV: 3:40 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN Arizona
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Jeff Samardzija (9-15, 4.51 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Braden Shipley (0-1, 5.40)
Samardzija lost his third straight start on Friday, giving up four runs over 4 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 32-year-old has reached the 200-inning mark for the fifth consecutive season and needs one more win to become the only Giants starting pitcher with double digits in victories this season. Jake Lamb is 6-for-16 with a home run against Samardzija, who is 3-4 with a 4.32 ERA in 16 career games (11 starts) versus Arizona - including a 1-3 mark and 5.13 ERA in four outings this year.
Shipley is making a spot start in place of ace Zack Greinke, who was pushed back to Friday so he can stay on normal rest for the wild-card game on Oct. 4. Shipley last started on June 4 against Miami, allowing five runs - four earned - over five innings. The 25-year-old has posted a 1.50 ERA in five relief appearances at home this season compared to a 6.89 ERA in four games (two starts) on the road.
1. Martinez has collected 35 RBIs this month, tying a club record set by Luis Gonzalez in June 2001.
2. Giants MGR Bruce Bochy said RHP Matt Cain will start one of the first two games of this weekend’s series against San Diego.
3. Arizona RHP Archie Bradley has held opponents scoreless in 24 of his last 26 appearances.
PREDICTION: Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4