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Grit Index: D-backs work overtime to win another series finale

Once again, the bullpen failed to hold a ninth inning lead, but once again, the Arizona Diamondbacks found a way to win a game in extra innings.

Wil Nieves’ pinch-hit sac fly in the 10th inning scored Paul Goldschmidt, and the D-backs beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in the finale of a three-game series at AT&T Park.

Arizona led 2-1 in the ninth, but San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford hit a solo home run to right field off of D-backs’ reliever David Hernandez to tie the score.

The Diamondbacks (12-9) bounced back in the 10th. Goldschmidt walked with one out against reliever Chad Gaudin and Cody Ross followed with a double to right. Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases. Nieves batted in the pitcher’s spot and lifted a 1-1 pitch to center field, scoring the go-ahead run.

Lefty Matt Reynolds allowed a two-out double to Brandon Belt in the bottom of the 10th, but then got Joaquin Arias to ground out to end the ball game.

The Good:

Lost in the late-inning excitement was a wonderful pitching performance from D-backs starter Ian Kennedy. The right-hander went six innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run while striking out four. Kennedy didn’t allow a hit until Crawford singled to lead off the fifth innning.

The Diamondbacks have now won Kennedy’s last six starts against the Giants dating back to last season. In his career against San Francisco, Kennedy is 6-2 with a 2.32 ERA.

Arizona also continued to play stellar defense. Arizona led the Majors with a .994 fielding percentage going into Wednesday’s game, and played error-free baseball once again.

The Bad:

The bullpen. In all three games in this series, the Diamondbacks held late-inning leads. In all three games, they blew saves. Hernandez blew leads in the first and third games of the series while J.J. Putz blew a save Tuesday night.


• After not having a save in his first 173 career appearances, Reynolds has saves in back-to-back games.

• Reynolds has yet to give up a run in 11.1 innings of work this season.

• Brad Ziegler worked the seventh inning in relief of Kennedy. It was Ziegler’s MLB-leading 14th appearance of the season.

• The Diamondbacks are now 7-0 in series finale games and 5-0 in extra inning game this season.

• Arizona finished their nine-game coast-to-coast road trip at 4-5.

What’s Next: The D-backs start a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field Thursday night. Right-hander Trevor Cahill, still looking for his first win of 2013, will be on the hill for the D-backs. He’ll be opposed by Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m.

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