LOS ANGELES – With his offense again on the fritz, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his biggest regret from his late-game decisions in Friday night’s loss to the Dodgers was that his focus was more on run-prevention than run-scoring.
“That’s what I’ve struggled with probably over the last 12 hours,” Lovullo said. “I was probably thinking more of a defensive thought, like, ‘How are we going to hold them off?’ rather than how we should be plowing right through them.”
Instead than going to his bench to hit for catcher Jeff Mathis and pitcher Zack Greinke in a tie game in the eighth inning, Lovullo stuck with them, watching as his team failed to score in the top of the inning, then allowing the Dodgers to take the lead in the bottom half.
Over the past eight games, the Diamondbacks are hitting just .206/.254/.300 and are averaging just 2.4 runs per game. The club has been overly reliant on slugger Paul Goldschmidt, who has driven in seven of the team’s 19 runs. On Friday, Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first and the Diamondbacks did not score the rest of the way.
“That’s has been a little bit of a theme for us, where we score a bunch of runs in one or two early innings and then hang on,” Lovullo said. “We want to add one more run. I think that should be a theme for us this month: one more run.”
There were some encouraging signs from slumping center fielder A.J. Pollock on Friday night. Though he was hitless in four at-bats, he did drive a pair of hard-hit balls to the outfield, including a shot that required an excellent play by right fielder Yasiel Puig.
“Those hard outs are eventually going to transition into base hits and big hits,” Lovullo said. “He’s starting to use the whole field again starting to let the ball get a little deeper.”
Entering Saturday, Pollock was 3 for 37 over the past 10 games and was hitless in 21 at-bats in the past six games.
The Diamondbacks added six players with expanded rosters on Saturday, recalling right-handers Silvino Bracho, Jimmie Sherfy and Matt Koch, infielder/outfielder Chris Owings and outfielder Socrates Brito and selecting the contract of catcher Chris Stewart.
Stewart isn’t expected to see much action as the club’s fourth catcher, but, in theory, he will allow Lovullo to be more aggressive in hitting and running for his other catchers.
Owings and Brito probably aren’t going to find their way into the lineup anytime soon, either, Lovullo said, adding that they could see action as pinch-hitters or on the back end of double-switches.
The moves mean the Diamondbacks have 31 players on their active roster while their 40-man is full. Still, there is wiggle room there since third baseman Jake Lamb can still be transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list to free up a 40-man spot.
With an off day scheduled for Wednesday, the Diamondbacks are considering rearranging their starting rotation, Lovullo said, in the same way they did last week when Robbie Ray and Zack Godley were flip-flopped to create what the club deemed to be more favorable matchups. “The five guys are still going to be the five guys,” Lovullo said, “but we may mix and match based on some of the matchups we’re looking at right now.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.