Eduardo Escobar’s late RBI single meant a little more Thursday after an emotional cross-country trip.
Earlier in the day, the Arizona third baseman had been in Miami for meetings with immigration officials as two of his boys received their green cards. Diamondbacks owners provided their private plane to get him there after Wednesday’s game in Phoenix, then flew Escobar to the Bay Area in time to play in a series-opening 5-1 win over the Giants.
“I’m really happy. It was special for my kids, they’re the most important in my life,” Escobar said. “My team took care of me and did a great job giving me a private plane. A lot of work. I’m so happy. I so appreciate what they did.”
Escobar’s sons, Eduardo Jr., 11, and 8-year-old Raul now will begin another yearslong wait to become U.S. citizens, while the Venezuelan expects it still to be another couple of years for him to gain citizenship. After arriving at the ballpark shortly before 5 p.m., Escobar entered in the sixth inning and delivered an RBI single in the ninth.
“It’s pretty amazing. We have incredible ownership here,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Eduardo needed to get to Miami to take care of some immigration issues. Everything’s OK, but he decided he was going to do a round-trip after the game yesterday against the Dodgers at home. He boarded a plane that was provided by the Arizona Diamondbacks and went straight to Miami and came back today. It just speaks volumes about what ownership is willing and is capable of doing for somebody in a time of need like that.”
Nick Ahmed hit a go-ahead home run leading off the fifth and Carson Kelly added a two-run shot in the seventh to help Alex Young win his major league debut.
Young (1-0), called up from Triple-A Reno to get his first shot, allowed two hits and one run, struck out five with one walk in five innings.
“I’ve prepared myself my whole life for this,” Young said.
Christian Walker’s RBI groundout put Arizona ahead in the fourth. Brandon Belt tied it leading off the bottom half with his 10th home run.
The Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in five games following a six-game skid, extending their winning streak at San Francisco to five.
Tyler Beede (1-3) allowed two runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Giants had gone 5-1 in his starts this year before Thursday but he didn’t get support.
Young and Beede, who made his major league debut against the Diamondbacks on April 10, 2018, sometimes work out together during the offseason at Texas Christian University.
Arizona’s strong showing away from Chase Field continued with its eighth victory in the last 11 road games.
The Giants wasted Brandon Crawford’s one-out double in the fifth and did little else against Young and the D-backs bullpen. Aside from Belt’s homer and the double by Crawford, the lone other hit was a single from Donovan Solano in the sixth.
“We got to swing the bats. Three hits, very little action out there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s hard to win a ballgame like that. Our margin of error is so small because we just don’t score a lot of runs. One little mistake and it seems like it costs us.”
D-backs second baseman Ketel Marte was selected to his first All-Star Game.
“We’re watching one of the up-and-coming stars for Major League Baseball,” Lovullo said.
Marte’s double in the sixth gave him a 10-game hitting streak and a career-best 20-game stretch reaching base.
He was emotional learning he’d made the NL All-Star squad.
“Yeah, I was almost crying out there. It’s a happy moment for me, my family, my career,” Marte said. “I want to thank everybody in the organization who helped me to be that player that I am right now. Thanks everybody.”
Along with Young, Merill Kelly made his big league debut on April 1 this season, marking the first time since Andrew Chafin and Chase Anderson in 2014 that two Diamondbacks starting pitchers debuted the same year.
Diamondbacks: C Alex Avila (strained left calf) could come off the injured list during this weekend series if he gets through “functional testing” the D-backs need to see. He did some running on the field Thursday and may catch Zack Greinke on Saturday. “He’s getting very close,” Lovullo said. … Rookie RHP Jon Duplantier, working back from an inflamed pitching shoulder, will be re-examined Friday and could begin ramping up his throwing program. He has played catch from out to 75 feet. … To make roster room for Young, Arizona transferred OF Steven Souza to the 60-day injured list as he nurses a left knee injury.
Giants: OF Steven Duggar will begin a rehab assignment from a lower back strain playing with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday if all continues to go well.
Kelly (7-7, 3.93 ERA) is 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA over his last five starts and will pitch for a second straight outing opposite San Francisco rookie RHP Shaun Anderson (2-2, 3.94), who like Kelly had a no-decision at Arizona on June 23.
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