The win may have eluded him, but Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Patrick Corbin made without question his most impressive start since returning from Tommy John surgery.
Pitching on normal four days rest for the first time, Corbin allowed one run — a Ryan Braun home run — on four hits with one walk and career-high tying 10 strikeouts in seven innings.
He had not worked past the fifth in his previous three outings.
Again though, it was not enough to earn the victory as the D-backs dropped a 2-1 decision to the Milwaukee Brewers in front of a Friday night crowd of 29,956 at Chase Field.
Aside from the Braun homer, the Brewers scored an insurance run in the ninth inning. Reliever Brad Ziegler uncorked a wild pitch, bringing home pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra from third base.
Corbin (1-3), who lost his third straight start, didn’t get much help.
The D-backs were held scoreless until the ninth when Nick Ahmed hit a sacrifice fly, avoiding what would’ve been the team’s sixth shutout of the season and second this homestand.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson threw seven scoreless innings. He limited the D-backs to five hits, while walking three and striking out five.
Nelson (8-9) improved to 5-1 over his last six starts, helping the Brewers even the series at a game apiece and end a two-game losing streak.
The D-backs, meanwhile, have lost six of eight on the homestand and nine of 11 overall.
Another multi-hit effort for Ender Inciarte, his third in a row. He doubled to lead off the game, singled in the third and again in the eighth. Inciarte finished 3-for-4 and is now batting .407 (11-for-27) with four doubles and three RBI in seven games since coming off the disabled list on July 17.
Liking the first pitch he saw in the third inning, A.J. Pollock grounded a base hit to left field with one out. The single, his 112th hit which leads all Major League outfielders, extended his streak of reaching base safely to a career-high 20 straight games.
Each of the first three hits Corbin allowed—a one-out single in the first, two-out double in the second and two-out single in the third—were left stranded; as was a two-out walk in the fourth and two-out hit-by-pitch in the fifth. In other words, prior to the Braun home run, Corbin did not allow a runner to reach third base.
A night after striking out a season-high tying 16 times, the D-backs opened the game with three strikeouts in the first inning, including back-to-back swings-and-misses by David Peralta and Chris Owings to end the frame stranding runners on second and third, wasting a great early scoring opportunity.
Another scoring chance presented itself in the third inning, with the same previous result. Inciarte and Pollock hit back-to-back one-out singles. They then each stole the base ahead of them, prompting the Brewers to intentionally walk Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases. However, Peralta hit into a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Coming into the series against the D-backs, Braun had gone 2-for-15 in the Brewers most recent homestand. Well, he’s matched that hit total here, and he needed only seven at-bats to do so. Both hits have been home runs and both have come on the first pitch. Braun led off the sixth inning with his 18th homer, depositing the 92 mph fastball into the seats in right field.
STAT OF THE GAME
7: The number of innings Corbin pitched, a new season high; and the number of games the D-backs have fallen below .500, matching a season high
HE SAID IT
“Everything just felt good,” Corbin said. “Even the pitch to Braun, it was just a first pitch, trying to get ahead. It was down; kind of came back over the middle and he put a good swing on it.”
• Memo to future Golden Glovers, do not field balls that are in play as a gentleman did in the first inning, interfering with Inciarte’s double down the left field line
• Inciarte and Pollock stole their 10th and 21st bases of the season, respectively; giving the D-backs 87, the second-most in the National League
• Goldschmidt was issued his 76th and 77th walks, including his 21st intentional free pass, which is more than 16 other teams in baseball
• Owings’ ninth-inning triple was his fourth of the season and the D-backs’ 27th, the most in the National League and second-most in the Majors
• Peralta went 1-for-3 with a strikeout in his first game back since taking a Jose Fernandez 97 mph fastball off his helmet on Wednesday
• Welington Castillo is “really close” to returning, according to Hale, but did not start for a third straight game after being scratched from Wednesday’s lineup for precautionary measures with tightness in his left hamstring
A pair of right-handers—Rubby De La Rosa and Taylor Jungmann—take the mound in game three of the four-game series on Saturday, July 25.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
De La Rosa (7-5) won his last start, snapping a personal two-game losing streak, beating the Marlins with seven innings of one-run ball on July 20. He induced four double plays for the second time this season, giving him 14 on the year, tied for the fifth-most in the National League.
This will be De La Rosa’s 20th start and second against the Brewers. He allowed four runs on six hits, including two home runs, in five innings but did not factor in the decision, a 7-5 victory at Miller Park on May 29.
Jungmann, meanwhile, is a 25-year-old rookie who made his Major League debut in June. He won that start at Pittsburgh and has won four others, including each of his past three outings, giving up no more than one earned run in at least seven innings in every appearance.
Jungmann (5-1) has posted a 1.29 ERA over his last five starts.
The Brewers are 6-2 in games he pitches.