Tommy La Stella brings more fuel as Giants visit Diamondbacks

MLB

Tommy La Stella looked pretty comfortable at the plate for someone who hadn’t played in a big-league game since May 2.

The veteran infielder is back from the injured list and is hoping to contribute down the stretch for the San Francisco Giants, who wrap up a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday in Phoenix.

La Stella was sidelined with injuries to his left hamstring and right thumb but surely didn’t look rusty as he reached base four times on two singles and two walks in Wednesday’s 7-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

La Stella played in 25 games before going on the IL and now he aims to fit in with a team that owns the best record (68-40) in the majors.

“With the lineup that we have, I feel like part of the role I’ll play is being able to work some counts, and get deep in counts,” La Stella said after Wednesday’s win. “I’m sure I’ll find myself in plenty of two-strike counts so I want to make sure I’m relaxed and comfortable there.”

The outing raised La Stella’s season average to .257. He is in the first season of a three-year, $18.75 million deal.

“It’s sort of what we were hoping for when we signed him — the kind of game he gave us,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said.

Alex Dickerson added a three-run homer and Donovan Solano homered and had three RBIs for the Giants, who have won two of the first three games of the series and are 11-2 against Arizona this season.

San Francisco has won seven of its past 10 games and holds a 3 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

The Diamondbacks own the worst record (34-75) in the majors after losing for the fourth time in the past five games.

Arizona trailed 3-1 with two outs in the seventh when San Francisco’s LaMonte Wade Jr. reached on a strikeout wild pitch by Jake Faria. The Giants took advantage as Buster Posey had an RBI double and Dickerson hit his homer to make it a one-sided contest.

“The wheels came off a little bit,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of the seventh inning. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get down and smother that ball and collect the out at first base. It’s a collective responsibility by the entire team to go out and execute at a high level.”

Left-hander Alex Wood (9-3, 3.83 ERA) will start Thursday for the Giants. He is looking to win his fifth consecutive decision.

The 30-year-old Wood has gone nine starts without losing since an 8-1 setback against the Dodgers on June 1.

Wood is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts against Arizona this season. He has struck out 15 in 11 innings.

Wood is 7-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 21 career appearances (13 starts) against the Diamondbacks. Nick Ahmed is 6-for-21 with two homers against Wood, while Josh Reddick is hitless in seven at-bats.

Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly (7-8, 4.38) lost his last start after winning his previous five decisions.

Kelly gave up four runs (three earned) and eight hits during Saturday’s 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. He struck out six and walked two in 6 1/3 innings.

The 32-year-old Kelly is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA in three starts versus the Giants this season, and 3-2 with a 3.55 ERA in seven career outings.

Posey is 7-for-17 with a homer and Kris Bryant is 5-for-8 with three doubles against Kelly. Dickerson is 1-for-9 with a homer.

San Francisco hopes to have outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (hamstring) back in the lineup on Thursday. He has seven homers in 73 career at-bats at Chase Field.

–Field Level Media

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