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Jun 3, 2024 1:25 am

Ketel Marte back on roll as D-backs brace for Giants

ketel marte

Ketel Marte had a 21-game hitting streak earlier this season and a stretch of 22 hitless at-bats late last month.

The Arizona star is back on the upswing and looks to follow up a big effort when the Diamondbacks face the San Francisco Giants on Monday in the opener of a three-game set in Phoenix.

Marte went 3-for-3 with two homers, three RBIs and two runs in Sunday’s 5-4 road victory over the New York Mets. He also walked and was hit by a pitch on a day in which he had the seventh multi-homer game of his career.

It was a sudden turnaround from a deep slump to putting on a power show. Marte was retired in his first at-bat of the series on Thursday for failed at-bat No. 22 in a row, but he said he didn’t let his troubles consume him.

“It’s a long season, and I never give up,” Marte said. “I’m the guy that works hard every day no matter what happens. Right now, I’m just trying to help my team. We’re just looking to win a game, and I know that they need me out there.”

Marte has hit .270 with 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 58 games this season. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with Christian Walker.

“He’s so incredibly talented,” Arizona closer Paul Sewald said of Marte. “When he’s on, he’s on like nobody in the league.”

Marte was certainly “on” during the Diamondbacks’ run to the World Series last season. He batted .329 in 17 playoff games, getting at least one hit in each of the first 16 contests.

Arizona expects to return to the postseason this year. But even after two straight wins against New York to halt a five-game slide, the Diamondbacks are five games below .500.

San Francisco has dropped four straight games, with Sunday’s 7-5 home loss to the New York Yankees proving especially painful.

The Yankees scored four runs in the ninth against Giants closer Camilo Doval to leave San Francisco 2-4 on a six-game homestand.

“I felt good with Doval. Anytime he’s in the game, we feel good,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s had a couple of tough ones this year, but especially in those save situations, those are the ones that inspire him.”

“… I’ll take him against anybody. They just got him (Sunday).”

Heliot Ramos homered and had three RBIs and Casey Schmitt also went deep and drove in two runs in the loss.

Right-hander Ryne Nelson (3-4, 6.02 ERA) will start Monday’s series opener for the Diamondbacks.

Nelson pitched two scoreless innings against San Francisco on April 18 but had to leave after Mike Yastrzemski’s line drive hit his pitching elbow. Nelson went on the 15-day injured list the following day and made his next appearance on May 5.

Nelson has lost two of his past three outings, including Wednesday’s against the Rangers, as Texas roughed him up for four runs on five hits in six innings.

Nelson is 1-0 with a 3.10 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

San Francisco hasn’t announced a starter and is expected to go the bullpen route. Right-hander Spencer Howard could be one of the pitchers. Howard threw four innings of scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in his first big-league outing of the season.

–Field Level Media

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