Home runs abound, but D-backs lose extra-inning slugfest
PHOENIX — Even before a wild eighth-inning rally by the D-backs and a series of back-and-forth innings that followed, home runs were an unstoppable tide in Friday night’s game.
There were 12 of them, a Chase Field record and one shy of the all-time MLB record (set by the D-backs earlier this year). Just two of the combined 19 runs in the game were scored by a means other than a home run. Three different players recorded multi-homer games.
All the longballs culminated in a Diamondbacks loss, 10-9, their third consecutive defeat.
“We slugged it out and ran out of outs,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “You feel like it’s one of those games you want to just keep playing for the rest of the night until you come out on the right side of it.”
Ketel Marte led off the bottom of the first with a home run. The Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski hit a home run in the third inning, and also in the seventh, and the 11th inning, too. Brandon Belt hit one. Kevin Pillar had a couple. Eduardo Escobar, also. And Wilmer Flores, who didn’t even start the game, had two homers. Nick Ahmed sent one out, and Adam Jones had one in a pinch-hit appearance.
There was a lot of dinger-ing.
Four hours and five minutes — and 11 innings — after the game started, it was over. It would’ve been easy to forget at that time that there were pitchers who started the game, since there were hardly any pitchers who were able to finish it. But indeed, the D-backs’ Mike Leake and the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija at one point toed the rubber.
“It’s really two games,” Lovullo said. “And I can’t really remember the first half of the game, but I can certainly remember the back half of the game. And it was a slugfest. And we didn’t make pitches and that’s what stands out more than anything.”
Leake allowed eight hits and three of the 12 home runs. He went six innings, allowing four earned runs on those eight hits, with no walks and three strikeouts on 93 pitches. He entered the game tied for seventh in MLB in ground balls induced, and he continued to draw contact on Friday.
By the time Leake’s day was done, Arizona trailed 4-2.
“I thought Mike Leake did a nice job,” Lovullo said. “I know he got nicked up for the four runs, but just made a couple mistakes to some good hitters at the wrong time and he ended up paying for it.”
After Leake, T.J. McFarland and Kevin Ginkel pitched. That set up Archie Bradley, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning of a tied ballgame, recording two strikeouts in a strong performance. Yoshihisa Hirano and Yoan Lopez complete the list of pitchers the D-backs used on Friday, and the two of them combined for three runs allowed.
Lopez was charged with the loss.
At one point, an 11-inning home run derby seemed unfathomable. The D-backs trailed 7-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning. But a leadoff home run Escobar, followed by a homer from Flores two batters later, then a three-run pinch-hit jack by Jones after that tied things right up. It was quite a comeback.
“We want to win that one,” Flores said. “But it didn’t go our way. We fought to the end and that’s all we can do. Unfortunately, we didn’t come with the win, but we have another opportunity tomorrow.”
The five-run rally, capped by Jones’ clutch blast, was the first of two occasions on the night that the D-backs came from behind to tie the game up.
“I’m proud of the guys. We went out and got down a couple times and we fought back both times,” Ahmed said. “I love the makeup of the team in that regard. We do that the rest of the way, we’re going to be alright.”