PHOENIX — A pair of rookies helped the Giants get their weekend in Arizona off to a winning start.
Andrew Suarez pitched six strong innings, Austin Slater had a pair of RBI doubles and San Francisco beat the Diamondbacks 2-1 on Friday night.
Suarez (3-4), a 25-year-old left-hander, gave up a run, scattering seven hits in his first win in five starts. The left-hander struck out five and walked two.
Five of the singles Suarez allowed were infield hits, including one that died halfway down the third-base line, an inch or two off the chalk.
"It was just weird," Suarez said of the infield hit spree. "I've never seen it like that. But it worked out thankfully. It could have been way worse and they'd have scored five or six runs."
Suarez is among the young pitchers who are filling in well for the Giants while the veteran starters work their way back to health.
"We have difficult decisions the way these kids are throwing," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "As I said so many times, they're doing what you'd hope they would do, is make the decision tough."
Slater, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento four times this season — most recently last Saturday — doubled in a run off Patrick Corbin in the second and knocked in the go-ahead score off Andrew Chafin (1-3) in the seventh. Slater, who entered the game 4 for 15 in the majors this season, also singled.
He's become accustomed to the back-and-forth trips to Sacramento.
"The first couple of times up and down it's easy to lose focus," Slater said, "but for me, I see it as a way to try to prove a point, that I was here to stay."
One of these trips, after a few more of these nights, he may be right.
Will Smith pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since April 13, 2014. San Francisco relievers retired the last 12 batters they faced.
Chafin, relieving Corbin in a 1-1 tie, walked Brandon Crawford, who scored from first when Slater doubled to the right-centre gap.
Corbin limited San Francisco to a run on four hits, striking out five and walking one in six innings, but left with his second straight no decision. In his previous outing, Corbin blanked Pittsburgh on three hits for seven innings and matched his career strikeout best with 12. Corbin last won on June 5 at San Francisco.
"Patrick was great today," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "He did everything we asked him to do. Would have sent him back out there in the seventh inning to get couple of hitters but we decided to pinch-hit for him. Unfortunately, one of the hazards of the National League game, but he did a great job and gave us a chance to win the game."
The NL West-leading Diamondbacks opened a 10-game homestand after an 8-2 trip.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the second. Buster Posey led off with a single and took second when Chris Owings bobbled the ball in centre. Slater brought Posey home with a one-out double.
The Diamondbacks finally got to Suarez tied it in the sixth. Ketel Marte led off with a double to the fence in right-centre. Owings was called out on a groundout to third on a close play. Arizona challenged and the call was overturned after a video review, leaving runners at first and third and no outs. Jake Lamb's sacrifice fly to left brought home Marte and made it 1-all.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (right elbow strain) made his second rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Sacramento.
Diamondbacks: CF A.J. Pollock (fractured left thumb) made his first rehab start, with Triple-A Reno.
Yoshihisa Hirano set a Diamondbacks record with his 25th consecutive appearance without allowing a run, getting the final two outs of the seventh inning. The Japanese right-hander broke the previous record of 24 shared by Brandon Lyon (2008) and J.J. Putz (2012).
It's tied with Shigetoshi Hasegawa of Seattle (2003) for second-longest streak in the majors by a Japanese-born pitcher. Koji Uehara of Boston had 27 straight scoreless appearances in 2011.
Giants RHP Derek Rodriguez (2-1, 3.82 ERA) makes his sixth major league start. San Francisco has won four of his previous five. Arizona RHP Shelby Miller (0-1, 12.27) makes his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery in the second game of the three-game weekend series.