It’s been a rough three weeks for the Arizona Diamondbacks and that’s putting it mildly. After climbing above .500 (62-61) on Aug. 23 in Cincinnati, they dropped 15 of their next 21. And the last three games had been particularly frustrating, as Chip Hale’s club had lost all three by a combined score of 23-11. Worse yet, they hadn’t led at any point in a game since Friday.
A.J. Pollock changed all that with one swing on Tuesday night.
The gifted outfielder continued his breakout campaign by depositing a three-run home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the seventh, capping a D-back rally and building a 5-3 lead over the visiting San Diego Padres that they wouldn’t relinquish. The homer was his 17th of the year, and he also tacked on his 35th stolen base of the season for good measure.
Making just his third start of 2015, Jhoulys Chacin gave Arizona five decent innings. He scattered two runs while striking out three, and now has a respectable 2.94 ERA on the year. Randall Delgado picked up the win in relief, and Brad Ziegler notched his 26th save, as Arizona held on for a 6-4 victory in front of 17,531 fans at Chase Field.
-Nick Ahmed pulled off yet another great defensive maneuver with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the third, snagging a grounder off the bat of Yangervis Solarte, tagging second and firing to first to turn the much-needed double play.
-Chris Owings made a diving stop on a grounder that was heading towards the outfield with two outs in the ninth. He couldn’t turn it into the final out, but he did save a run from scoring on the play.
-David Peralta now has a 12-game hitting streak.
-The D-backs have clubbed at least one home run in eight of their last nine games.
-Ahmed’s triple was Arizona’s 42nd of the season – good for second in the National League.
-Ziegler has now converted 24 straight saves. That’s the longest active streak in baseball.
-After approaching the plate to a chorus of boos in the second inning, Justin Upton drove a 3-0 pitch into the second deck of the left field seats to give the Padres an early 1-0 lead.
STAT OF THE GAME
33: Prior to Pollock’s homerun in the seventh, the Diamondbacks had gone 33 consecutive innings without holding a lead in a game.
HE SAID IT
“I’ve said this before, even about Goldy. Until we put ourselves in the middle of a pennant race, all our guys are going to be underrated. Because those are the guys right now – and deservedly so – that are getting all the publicity.” – Chip Hale, commenting on the relative lack of national attention Pollock’s impressive season has gotten.
-The roof was open at Chase Field tonight for the first time since June 6.
-Arizona is now 13-13 with the roof open this year.
-Padres manager Pat Murphy was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth inning.
These two teams will wrap up the series Wednesday night at Chase Field. Robbie Ray gets the start for the D-backs, while the Padres counter with Andrew Cashner. First pitch is at 6:40, with pregame coverage beginning at 6 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
It’s a meeting of two hurlers who haven’t gotten a ton of run support this season. Ray (4-11) has pitched better than his record indicates, allowing three runs or less in six of his last seven starts – and 14 of the 19 total that he’s made in 2015. He’s 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in his last three starts overall, and owns a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against San Diego.
Cashner (5-15) dealt with a similar issue earlier in the year, though his individual performance has declined a little of late as well. He’s picked up just one win since July 24, and was touched up by the Giants for five runs over 4.2 innings in his last outing. In four starts against Arizona this season, he’s 1-3 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
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- Change in D-backs rotation allows Greinke to start final game if needed