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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs’ loss to Miami puts playoff clinch on hold

Miami Marlins' Miguel Rojas scores on a hit by Dee Gordon as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks were looking to clinch their first postseason berth since 2011 on Saturday night with a win in game two against the Miami Marlins. While the Cardinals did their part by losing to the Pirates, the D-backs were not able to overcome another high-scoring affair with the Marlins, losing by a score of 12-6.

Despite the loss, Arizona’s magic number is now at 1 based on the outcome of St. Louis’ game.

Taijuan Walker kicked things off on the hill for the D-backs. He started out strong, striking out four of the first seven batters he faced. But it quickly went downhill for the right-hander in the third inning.

A double by Miguel Rojas was then exacerbated by a pair of fielding errors by Walker that eventually led to Rojas scoring and the inning extending. He then gave up a two-RBI double to Giancarlo Stanton, a walk to Marcell Ozuna, and an RBI single to Justin Bour. By the middle of the third, five runs had scored and the D-backs were down by four.

Arizona answered back in the bottom of the third when Paul Goldschmidt tied his career high in home runs with his 36th big fly of the season, driving in David Peralta and A.J. Pollock to cut the deficit 5-4.

Walker was able to take care of business for the D-backs in the fourth and retire the first two batters he faced, but he then gave up a home run to Stanton, his 57th of the year, and a pair of walks to Christian Yelich and Ozuna ended his night.

Much like with Greinke in the team’s win on Friday night, Walker didn’t last long in this shootout. He went 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs — three of which were earned — on six hits. He struck out six, walked three and gave up one home run.

Dillon Peters didn’t fair much better on the mound for Miami. He lasted four innings, giving up six hits and five earned runs. He walked three and struck out one.

The D-backs were able to make it close when they added a run from a RBI single by Peralta in the fourth inning and a solo home run by J.D. Martinez in the fifth, his 43rd of the season.

But unfortunately, the comeback was squashed when the Marlins added a pair of runs in seventh off walks and bad defense, and another pair of runs in the eighth on a two-run shot by Bour for good measure.

The D-backs will look to finally clinch their spot in the 2017 playoffs in the series finale on Sunday.

THE GOOD

— Goldschmidt tied his career high in home runs with his 36th dinger of the season. He has now hit safely in 21 of his last 25 games at Chase Field.

— J.D. Martinez’s home run in the fifth inning was his 14th in the month of September, a new franchise record for most home runs in a month, passing Luis Gonzalez’s 13 in April of 2001.

— The Cardinals’ loss still reduces the magic number down to one and guarantees Arizona will at least tie for a Wild Card spot. A D-backs’ win or a Brewers’ loss on Sunday clinches a Wild Card appearance for Arizona.

THE BAD

— Starting pitching is in a free-fall. It has been a full trip through the rotation — Greinke’s start against the Giants on Sept. 16 — since a D-backs starting pitcher has won a game or had a quality start.

— Relief pitching couldn’t stop the bleeding. The Marlins scored five runs off D-backs relievers and the offense couldn’t catch up.

–D-backs pitching allowed five walks at crucial times. Four of the Marlins’ runs were batters who walked.

–After having a career night on Friday with a grand slam and eight RBI, Chris Iannetta went 0-for-4 at the plate on Saturday.

STAT OF THE GAME

14 – J.D. Martinez has hit 14 home runs in the month of September, a franchise record.

HE SAID IT

“Not the kind of night you hope to see. I just think nothing was really clicking for us. Couple of good moments offensively. I think the three run home run by Paul got us right back into the game. A big home run by J.D. and Brandon Drury as well, but J.D. sets a club record for home runs in a month. It was a great moment for him and for this ball club. I just think we never got synced up with our guys on the mound today. I think defensively we had a couple of miscues that led to several unearned runs. I think we just need to tighten things up defensively, and if we did that today we would have been in a totally different situation.” — D-backs manager Torey Lovullo

NOTED

— The D-backs clinched their last NL West Division title on this day in 2011.

— Martinez’s 27 home runs since July 19th are second to only Stanton’s 28 home runs in that span. Both players happened to hit a homer in this game.

— First pitch was at 5:10 p.m. with an outdoor temperature of 82 degrees and an indoor temp of 75.

— 39,259 were in attendance at Chase Field.

UP NEXT

The D-backs will look to clinch their Wild Card playoff spot with a win in the finale on Sunday or a Cardinals’ loss.

They could also secure home field in the Wild Card Game with a win. Arizona’s Patrick Corbin will take the mound and look to take the series against starting pitcher Dan Straily and the Marlins.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Corbin has already tied a career high in wins at 14 and will look to set a new career high on Sunday. He is 6-2 over his last eight starts with a 2.61 ERA. His MLB debut just so happened to be against the Marlins back on April 30, 2012 in a 9-5 D-backs win.

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