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Grit Index: D-backs overcome Miley’s command issues in walk-off win

Arizona Diamondbacks’ starter Wade Miley was in rare form on Saturday night, but it wasn’t a good thing. The left-hander allowed seven walks in 4 1/3 innings of work on ‘Wade Miley Garden Gnome Night.’ In the end, though, Cody Ross came through with a sac fly in the bottom to give the D-backs a 3-2 walk-off victory — their 14th of the season and sixth in extra innings.

Despite Miley’s inability to locate the strike zone (46 balls on 98 pitches), he escaped unscathed, giving up no runs before being pulled from the game in the 5th inning after loading the bases. He was replaced by groundball guru Brad Ziegler, who got out of the jam with a ground-ball double play to end the inning, and the bullpen took care of the rest.

As for the offense, both clubs struggled to get a big inning going. Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the first with a solo shot by A.J. Pollock and an RBI triple from Cody Ross. Rockies’ catcher Wilin Rosario was unstoppable, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two singles and a run scored. The other Colorado RBI came from Troy Tulowitzki in the seventh, that tied the game up at two runs a piece. Tulo was 2-for-2 tonight with two walks and two singles.

The score didn’t budge until A.J. Pollock led off the 10th frame with a single, stole second and made it to third on a throwing error by the Rockies catcher. After intentional walking Miguel Montero to get to Cody Ross, the table was set for a walk off sac fly to center field and that’s exactly what Ross served up for the win, which was credited to J.J. Putz.

The Good:

The D-backs have now won four of their last five games and are 5-2 in their last seven. Arizona has also proven that they enjoy playing extra frames with six extra-inning games on the season. Fortunately for them, they are undefeated at 6-0 in those contests. The Diamondbacks also seem to have the Rockies number when playing at Chase Field. They’re 12-5 in their last 17 against Colorado on their home turf.

The Bad:

Once again the Diamondbacks had to rely heavily on their bullpen with starter Wade Miley only lasting 4 1/3 innings. The D-backs used Brad Ziegler in the fifth and sixth innings followed by Heath Bell in the seventh, David Hernandez in the eighth and ninth and J.J. Putz pitched the tenth frame. Before Saturday’s game, Arizona’s bullpen ranked ninth in the majors with 76 2/3 innings pitched already this season. Ziegler also leads all of baseball with 16 appearances in 24 games.


• Wade Miley’s seven walks are tied for the third-most allowed by a D-backs pitcher and the most since Ian Kennedy allowed a club-record nine walks on June 26t, 2010 against the Rays.

• Miley also became the first pitcher in D-backs history to walk at least four batters in an inning and NOT give up a single run.

• Gerardo Parra now owns a career-high 12-game hitting streak. Saturday he hit in the No. 6 hole and went 1-for-3 with a single in the seventh inning. Parra has reached base safely in 23-of-24 games.

• Renaissance man Martin Prado played third base Saturday night but more importantly, he batted in the lead-off spot. That’s the first time he’s done so this season with Arizona and the first time since September 1, 2012 when he was with the Atlanta Braves. He batted lead-off twice in 2012 and entered Saturday’s game with .298 career average in the No. 1 hole.

• Arizona improved to 6-0 in extra innings this season. The six extra-inning games in one month ties a club record. They also played six extra inning games in the month of June 2007.

He Said It:

“We’ve seen it before in bigger situations than we’re in tonight, that’s the encouraging part of it. It’s just a quality at-bat, good approach, good execution. Cody was able to barrel one.” –Manager Kirk Gibson on outfielder Cody Ross coming up with the game-winning sac fly in the 10th inning.

Up Next:

The Diamondbacks play the finale of their four-game series against the Rockies on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Left-hander Patrick Corbin will go for his third win of the season and right-hander Jon Garland (2-1) will be on the hill for Colorado. Corbin has posted two straight no-decisions, including a stellar outing on April 23, in which he allowed just two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings of work against the San Francisco Giants. Sunday’s game will be on Arizona Sports 620.

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