ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Jarrod Dyson walks off Rangers to push D-backs over .500

Apr 9, 2019, 11:23 PM | Updated: 11:35 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Jarrod Dyson had never hit a walk-off home run at the Major-League level entering Tuesday’s contest with the Texas Rangers. He can add it to his list of baseball accomplishments now though.

The 34-year old outfielder only got one at-bat in the game, but he made it count.

With Eduardo Escobar standing on second base and the Diamondbacks trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Dyson launched a Jose Leclerc pitch into the right-field seats to give Arizona the 5-4 win in dramatic fashion.

“It felt great,” he said afterward. “Anytime you can help your team off the bench, it’s a good thing. Skip called on me, and I did my job.”

Dyson’s home run completed a pretty impressive comeback by the D-backs, who trailed 4-0 early on in this one.

In fact, Tuesday’s contest was sort of a microcosm of Zack Greinke’s season so far. The veteran righty couldn’t get anyone out to start the game, allowing the first three Texas batters he saw to reach base. Two of them scored and they were joined by two of their teammates in the second inning. Before most of the 16,620 fans at Chase Field had even found their seats, Arizona was down by four.

It didn’t look good. At all. But then Greinke settled in and promptly retired the next 14 batters in order.

“Pitches were a little up in the first inning,” he explained. “And then the second inning? Just probably good hitting for the most part. And then made some better pitches after that. But maybe a little up in the zone the first inning, maybe inning and a half. Especially the first inning.”

Greinke’s performance was oddly reflective of how he has looked overall in the 2019 campaign so far.

The pitcher struggled mightily in the first game against the Dodgers, allowing seven runs in just 3.2 innings of work. As if that weren’t bad enough, he also served up four homers, paving the way for LA to set an Opening Day record with eight for the afternoon.

As it turns out, that game set the stage for a rough run through Arizona’s entire rotation to begin the year. When the dust settled after the first five games, D-back starters had a combined ERA of 9.00 with nine homers surrendered in 24 innings of work.

Not a great way to start the season.

But they collectively bounced back in their second outings. And Greinke led the way, giving up just three runs in 6 innings of work on April 2 in an 8-5 win over the Padres. His effort on the mound took a backseat to his own hitting in that game though, as he delivered a pair of home runs at the plate. To put that in perspective, he had hit six total dingers in his entire career leading up to that game.

After Greinke responded, so did the rest of the rotation. In their second wave of games, the starters combined for a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings, giving up just three home runs along the way.

And they faced the reigning champion Boston Red Sox in that stretch. Not exactly an easy path to pitching success.

It all adds up to a 6-5 start for the Diamondbacks, who also got home runs from John Ryan Murphy and Nick Ahmed in Tuesday’s win. They’ll complete their quick two-game set with Texas on Wednesday, as Robbie Ray takes the mound against Lance Lynn.

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