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Grit Index: D-backs cap doubleheader sweep with walk-off win

Five runs scored in game one.

Five runs scored in game two.

It all adds up to a Diamondbacks’ sweep of the Texas Rangers in the lone scheduled doubleheader in the MLB this season.

Cliff Pennington singled just inside the first base bag to score Miguel Montero with the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the D-backs a 5-4 victory in front of 23,622 at Chase Field.

For Pennington, it was his second walk-off hit of the season and the team’s fourth of the year.

The Diamondbacks scored early, plating two runs on two hits after the first three batters of the game. Gerardo Parra singled and Didi Gregorius tripled on the first pitch each saw from Rangers starter Yu Darvish, who two pitches later allowed a sacrifice fly to Eric Chavez.

The Rangers got a run back in the second and another in the fourth to tie the game, before tagging Trevor Cahill for two runs in the sixth and a 4-2 lead.

Cahill tied his season-high, going eight innings for the third time this season, but did not factor in the decision.

Darvish, meanwhile, settled in and at one point retired ten straight batters. He struck out 14, tying his career-high for the third time this season. Darvish had not allowed a run after the sixth inning this season until Gregorius’ two-run homer in the eighth inning, which tied the game at 4.

With the win, the Diamondbacks (30-22) increase their lead in the NL West to a season-high 1.5 games.

The Good

Cahill has allowed four earned runs or less in 29 straight starts, one shy of Randy Johnson’s club record (30 games from April 13-Sept. 22, 2001).

Gregorius, the lone player not to strikeout vs. Darvish, is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in his last three games.

Jason Kubel’s triple in the sixth inning was his first of the season.

The Bad

The Diamondbacks struck out a season-high 14 times, marking the seventh game this season the team has struck out 10 or more times.

Parra was removed from the game before the start of the fifth inning because of a left calf cramp. He was replaced by Ross.

The Diamondbacks committed two errors and now have five errors in the last four games.

Stat of the Game

The Diamondbacks are undefeated all-time in doubleheaders played at Chase Field. It was their fifth doubleheader sweep overall, and the first time the Rangers had been swept in a doubleheader since May 3, 2007 against the Yankees.

He Said It

“Obviously you always want to do it. Every player wants to do it at anytime. But when you’re not swinging the bat as well as you want to swing it, it feels even better,” said Pennington, who was 4-for-30 (.133) before his third-career game-ending hit. “If you’re going to just get a few, you might as well make them count.”

What’s Next

An off day. The Diamondbacks left immediately after the game to head to Texas, where they will begin a two-game series against the Rangers on Wednesday. Brandon McCarthy (2-3, 4.36), who pitched for the Rangers from 2007-09, gets the start in the opener. He’s allowed one run or less in a career-high tying three straight outings and is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in his last four trips to the mound. Texas counters with Justin Grimm (4-3, 4.05), a 24-year-old right-hander who began the week leading all American League rookies in wins, strikeouts and ranks third in ERA. The game starts at 5:05 with pregame coverage 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 620.