Despite a less than stellar performance on the mound from starter Wade Miley, the Arizona Diamondbacks chipped away at a three-run deficit over the final four innings of play Thursday night against the Houston Astros.
Timely runs in the sixth and seventh inning pulled Arizona to within one before Miguel Montero went to work in the clutch.
The D-backs catcher launched a solo shot off of former Arizona reliever Chad Qualls to knot the contest at four in the top of the ninth.
Arizona was unable to complete the comeback in extras, however, as former D-back Chris Carter took matters into his own hands for the second consecutive night.
Carter, who slugged two home runs in Houston’s 5-1 win Wednesday, drilled the fifth pitch he saw from Arizona right-hander J.J. Putz over the wall in left to secure a 5-4 victory in 10 innings.
With the win, the Astros swept their two-game set with the D-backs and took three of four in the interleague home-and-home series.
Here’s a look back at the one-run loss by the numbers:
Another former D-back had a hand in the final outcome, as well. Reliever Tony Sipp, who spent the 2013 campaign in Arizona, pitched a perfect 10th for his first win since June 10, 2013 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For Carter, who was dealt to Oakland in the trade that netted Arizona Dan Haren in Dec. 2007, the long ball marked his second career walk-off hit.
Joe Thatcher and Evan Marshall pitched for one impressive inning of work in the seventh. With the bases loaded and no outs, Thatcher induced a pop-up from Jonathan Singleton and Marshall was bailed out after Matt Dominguez was called out on a double-play ball for runner’s interference.
Miley allowed two or more home runs for the four time in 2014. The third-year left-hander has given up a team-leading 16 long balls. Only Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada (20) has served up more.
Montero’s game-tying blast in the ninth was his ninth of the campaign. In 2013, he didn’t record his ninth home run until July 27.
Houston loaded the bases again in the bottom of the ninth, but Ziegler survived the inning unscathed after Dominguez bounced into a 5-3 twin killing.
It was Ziegler’s 12th career double play ball with the bases loaded.
With his two doubles Thursday, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt took over the MLB lead in the category with 27. The Texas native was doubled up in the eighth, though, after George Springer made a diving stop on a sinking liner off the bat of Martin Prado.
After making the superb snag, Springer promptly threw the ball to second for the inning’s final out as Goldschmidt took off toward the plate upon initial contact.
4/24 – 4/29:
Arizon failed to pick up a win in back-to-back series for the first time since April 24 – 29, 2014. During that stretch, the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies combined to take four of six games from the D-backs.