A walk-off block?
Sure, in basketball, football, hockey or soccer, but baseball? Yeah, that’s different. And it happened in the 10th inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
“Obviously, I had no intention,” Nick Ahmed said. “I don’t think anyone has ever done that to try to throw their hands up and block the ball like that. But, I just slid hard and late and the throw happened to hit me (on my left forearm) and I’m glad it did because we got the win.”
By Ahmed breaking up Andy Marte’s double play ball, Tuffy Gosewisch scored the game-winning run to give the Diamondbacks a split of the four-game weekend series against the Pirates.
It was the Diamondbacks’ seventh walk-off win of the season as they improved to 5-0 in extra-inning games at Chase Field.
“In the umpire’s opinion we won the game. I was good with that call,” manager Kirk Gibson said with a smile.
The ending overshadowed starter Trevor Cahill, who turned in his best outing of the year, pitching a season-high seven innings.
He struggled early, giving up four hits through the first three innings, but limited the damage to only a single run, a second-inning RBI groundout. The right-hander, winless in eight starts this season, then settled down to retire nine of 10, before once again working in and out of trouble in the seventh, punctuated by a strikeout, his seventh, of pinch-hitter Pedro Alvarez, which left the tying run at second base.
Cahill held the Pirates hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position.
“Anytime I feel like I can throw the ball somewhat where I want to, I feel a lot more confident,” he said.
Cahill left with a 2-1 lead and was in line for his first win since a victory in relief on April 23, but Brad Ziegler in the eighth inning gave up a sacrifice fly to Andrew McCutchen to tie the game, which is where things stayed until the 10th.
“Always something new,” Gibson said. “It’s been an exciting series.”
Upon further review, Gosewisch threw out his third would-be base stealer of the season in the third inning. Gregory Polanco beat the throw and was called safe, but as he slid, he came up off the bag, while Aaron Hill applied the tag. Gibson challenged the call and it was overturned.
By the way, Gosewisch erased two runners from the basepaths. He gunned down Ike Davis for the first out of the seventh inning, improving to 4-of-12 throwing out would-be base stealers this season.
Jordan Pacheco made the most of his two RBI in the series. His third inning two-out single to center gave the Diamondbacks the lead, 2-1. Two days earlier, a fifth inning two-out single to left gave his team a 3-2 advantage.
Evan Marshall turned in his 12th scoreless appearance in his last 14 games, striking out Gaby Sanchez and Travis Snider with the go-ahead run 90-feet away in the tenth inning.
Mark Trumbo played a flawless first base in his first start of the season and the 277th of his career. He was credited with eight putouts and three assists. At the plate, Trumbo went 2-for-4 with a double, only his second extra base hit since coming off the disabled list on July 11.
Four of the first six Diamondbacks hitters struck out, including all three batters in the second inning.
Starter Francisco Liriano needed only 14 pitches to retire Trumbo, David Peralta and Alfredo Marte, all of whom fanned swinging.
After two walk-free games, Cahill issued a free pass — the first in 65 plate appearances — to McCutchen with two outs in the third inning. Cahill ended his outing with the one walk after he had not walked a batter in back-to-back starts for the first time in his career.
See, it’s not just Gerardo Parra who runs into outs on the basepaths. Ender Inciarte turned a sixth-inning leadoff single into a sixth-inning out as he tried to stretch a base hit down the left field line into a double.
Single-double-sacrifice fly and three batters into his appearance — his fourth in five days — Ziegler had failed to protect a 2-1 eighth-inning lead. McCutchen plated the game-tying run with a fly ball left, the eighth earned run allowed by Ziegler in his last seven relief outings at home.
STAT OF THE GAME
7: The number of Cahill’s innings pitched and strikeouts recorded, plus walk-off wins for the Diamondbacks this season.
HE SAID IT
“It has to be an unintended play for him to be out for interference,” crew chief Ron Kulpa said of Ahmed’s slide into second base. “It has to have been willful and deliberate with obvious intent to break up a double play. The guy has to do something obviously, willfully, intentionally to break up that double play. Guys slide into second base all the time with their hands up.”
• Cahill threw a first pitch strike to 17 of the 27 batters he faced, including eight of the first 12
• The Diamondbacks starting rotation has a collective 2.13 ERA (12 ER in 50.2 IP) in their last eight games
• The Diamondbacks have successfully challenged 14-of-28 calls this season following the third-inning instant replay review, which lasted 51 seconds
• Luis Gonzalez picked up his 119th win in the D-backs Legends Race, matching Randy Johnson for the most all-time
A day off.
The homestand continues Tuesday with a visit from the Kansas City Royals, who will make their first appearance at Chase Field since 2008.
It’s a three-game series with dueling left-handers — Wade Miley and Danny Duffy — on the mound in the opener on August 5. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Miley (7-7, 4.14) has won four of his last five starts, including his most recent appearance, a 6.2 scoreless innings outing at Cincinnati. He earned the victory in his lone career start against the Royals, tossing seven shutout frames in a 2-0 win at Kauffman Stadium on May 20, 2012.
Duffy (5-10, 2.42), meanwhile, went winless in the month of July, losing three of his five starts. He has never faced the Diamondbacks over his four-year big league career.