Marte, Pollock homer to lift D-backs to a sixth straight series victory
Apr 19, 2018, 10:36 PM
(AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX — Chalk up another win, and another series win.
The Arizona Diamondbacks won their 13th game, tied for the most in the National League, and their sixth straight series. The latter extended a club record to open a season.
Zack Greinke pitched seven solid innings, while Ketel Marte and A.J. Pollock each hit home runs to lead the D-backs past the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, in the rubber game of the three-game series, played in front of an announced crowd of 18,736 at Chase Field on Thursday.
Greinke (2-1) retired 13 of the final 14 batters faced to win his second start in a row. He limited the Giants to the one run, a Brandon Belt solo home run, on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts over seven innings.
Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger finished off the Giants pitching the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Boxberger got Belt to fly out to end the game with the tying runs on base for his sixth save of the season.
The night before Belt homered off Boxberger.
Speaking of home runs, Pollock hit a go-ahead solo home run in the sixth off starter Ty Blach (1-3) and Marte added an insurance run with a solo shot of his own off Reyes Moronta in the seventh inning.
David Peralta had tied the game at one with an RBI double in the third.
At 13-5, the D-backs have matched their best 18-game start in team history.
Credit the guys in the video room. The D-backs won their sixth manager’s challenge in seven attempts when Gregor Blanco was called out attempting to steal second base in the third inning. The initial ruling was that Blanco had beaten the throw and tag from Jeff Mathis and Marte. The call was eventually overturned following a near two-minute (1:48) review.
What the D-backs could not do the night before, they succeeded in their first opportunity on Thursday: Driving in a runner from third base with less than two outs. In the third inning, Mathis hit a leadoff double, Greinke bunted him up 90-feet and then Peralta singled to left field, thus tying the game at 1. Peralta grounded a first-pitch curveball past the shortstop.
Before his go-ahead home run to leadoff the sixth inning, Pollock had struck out five times in his last six at-bats, including the first two times facing Blach. Pollock ripped a 0-1 fastball clocked at 89.8 mph over the fence in left field to put the D-backs ahead 2-1. Seven of his nine hits now at Chase Field this season have gone for extra bases.
For the first time this season Marte homered. He did so with one out in the seventh inning, putting a 1-0 slider clocked at 88.4 mph over the fence in right field to extend the D-backs’ lead to 3-1. And not only was it Marte’s first home run of the season, it was his first hit of the series. Going into the at-bat, he was 0-for-12, putting the ball in play each time.
For the second time in as many games, and the second time in his career against Greinke, Belt homered. He took Greinke deep to leadoff the second inning, lifting a 2-2 slider high and deep over the right-field fence to put the Giants ahead 1-0. Belt, who hit the go-ahead home run in the 10th inning Wednesday, entered the game 8-for-31 (.258) with 11 strikeouts lifetime against Greinke.
It was announced after the game that Chris Owings suffered a head contusion when he and Pollock collided in right-center field as they both chased a fly ball hit by Joe Panik in the third inning. Owings, who caught the ball, was removed from the game and replaced by Jarrod Dyson. Owings said he took a Pollock knee to the jaw and then suffered a cut to his head when he landed on the ground.
STAT OF THE GAME
6-0: The D-backs improved to 6-0 when hitting two or more home runs
HE SAID IT
“Nice bounce-back win after maybe a little bit of frustration yesterday,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We did the job and won a series and it started with Zack tonight. He gave us seven incredible innings.”
Greinke threw a first-pitch strike to 18-of-24 batters faced; in addition, he reached a three-ball count four times.
Pollock has four home runs in 18 games; he hit his fourth home run last season in the 50th game on July 21.
Marte hit his first home run since Sept. 3,, 2017 at Colorado, bringing to an end a 40-game homerless streak.
Peralta extended his hitting streak to eight games; he’s reached base in every game (15) played this season.
Bradley walked off the field to chants of, “Archie! Archie!” after he struck out the side in the eighth inning.
Paul Goldschmidt went 1-for-3, and he has now hit safely in eight of his last night games (.393; 13-for-33).
As part of Throwback Thursday, the D-backs wore their 1998 home uniforms, celebrating the first season.
Players on the 1998 team Joel Adamson, Scott Brow and Kelly Stinnett threw out ceremonial first pitches.
Because of windy conditions outdoors, the game was played indoors with both the roof and panels closed.
The homestand continues with an appearance by the San Diego Padres.
It’s a three-game series with right-handers Matt Koch and Tyson Ross taking the mound in the opener on Friday, April 20. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Koch (0-0) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Reno and fill the rotation spot — for now, anyway — of Taijuan Walker, who is scheduled for Tommy John surgery next week.
This will be Koch’s third career start, and first since 2016.
Back on April 7, Koch made a relief appearance, tossing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts at St. Louis.
Meanwhile, Ross (2-1) will be looking to win back-to-back starts. He’s coming off a six-inning effort against the Giants in which he allowed one unearned run on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Ross is 4-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 13 games, including 12 starts, all-time versus the D-backs.