PHOENIX — Out with a thumb injury at the time, Phil Gosselin’s inclusion in the midseason trade that sent veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo and pitching prospect Touki Toussaint to the Atlanta Braves may have been overlooked.
Apparently, the Diamondbacks were very serious that Gosselin’s grit, ability to play multiple positions and hitting talent wasn’t just a throw-in to what ultimately added up to a salary dump.
Gosselin hit his first career walk-off Tuesday in the 11th inning of the Diamondbacks’ 4-3 victory against the Colorado Rockies. Pinch-hitting for Jake Lamb with the bases loaded an an out, the utility man caught Rockies reliever Christian Friedrich with a sharp hit to right field that scored Paul Goldschmidt to move Arizona to 76- 81 on the year.
“I was just trying to see something out over the plate,” Gosselin said.
The D-backs are still able to reach .500 with five games left.
A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and David Peralta walked at the start of the 11th frame as Brooks Brown threw 11 straight balls, a strike, then a 12th ball to load the bases without an out. Friedrich, a lefty, replaced Brown before Hale decided to go with Gosselin.
“Goss has got a very workable swing as a major-leaguer,” Hale said. “He’s got a short swing, he’s got a really good pitch recognition, got a good recognition of the strike zone. He could be a very valuable piece for us.”
– Goldschmidt followed Pollock’s two-out double with an RBI single to cut the Rockies’ 2-0 first-inning lead in half.
– D-backs starter Robbie Ray needed 20 pitches to get out of the first inning already behind 2-0 – the second run of the unearned variety. He called it a game after six innings, having given up seven hits and three runs. Hale said Ray executed the game plan and hit his spots.
– Ender Inciarte tripled to right field with one out in the third inning, and Brandon Drury nailed a first-pitch, RBI groundout to score Inciarte, making it a one-run game (3-2) in the third.
– David Peralta tripled to right field when a hard-hit grounder got past first baseman Justin Morneau and rolled to the wall. The hit set up Jake Lamb’s deep sac-fly that tied the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the fourth.
– Arizona twice got out of ugly-looking jams. In the top of the fifth inning, Inciarte bobbled a Charlie Blackmon hit to right field, an error that allowed Blackmon to reach second. Lamb missed the tag when Blackmon stole third with no outs, but Ray held the runner there, getting two outs and then pitching around Nolan Arenado to induce a Corey Dickerson pop-out. Then to begin the eighth, Arenado doubled off reliever Andrew Chafin and reached third when Dickerson grounded out. Chafin walked Justin Morneau, but Arenado was caught off third base as D.J. LeMahieu attempted to bunt. LeMahieu lined out to a diving Peralta to end the threat.
– Colorado recorded three straight singles to begin the evening, the third of which, by Gonzalez, scoring the first run of the game. A sacrifice fly by Arenado put the Rockies ahead 2-0 after Jose Reyes reached third on a throwing error by David Peralta in left field.
– Gonzalez ripped a hanging fastball into the Chase Field pool area in the third inning, his 40th home run of the year. Colorado took a 3-1 lead on the play, and it would’ve been more painful had Ray not picked off Reyes at first base during the CarGo at-bat.
– Arizona recorded two errors on the evening, one each by Inciarte and Peralta.
STAT OF THE GAME
5 – Gosselin’s walk-off was the team’s fifth of the season.
HE SAID IT
“Any time you come through I think it’s big. Just trying to finish the season out strong, set the tone for next year. We think we got a really good team next year and everything. Just to be able to help out and get a win for the team is awesome .. especially when you’re the new guy a little bit.” – Phil Gosselin on his pinch-hit walkoff.
– Hale told media members before the game that shortstop Nick Ahmed will miss the rest of the season with a back injury.
– Closer Brad Ziegler was not with the team Tuesday after his wife gave birth to a baby girl.
– Peralta became the ninth D-back to produce 10 or more triples on the season. Tony Womack holds the club record with 14 in a season (2012).
– The D-backs are now 9-9 in extra-inning games this year.
Coming off a 10-strikeout performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last start, Diamondbacks right-hander Chase Anderson (6-6, 4.40 ERA) starts his final outing of 2015 looking to close it on a high note.
The Rockies, in the second game of this series, will counter with Chad Bettis (8-5, 4.38 ERA).
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MST and the pregame show will begin at 6 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
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