Don’t balk, RUN! D-backs beat L.A. for fifth straight win
PHOENIX – Another late-inning rally combined with a well-timed balk and run scored by Tim Locastro was enough to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 5-4 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers for their fifth win in row on Friday, matching their longest win streak of the season.
Eduardo Escobar was 3-4 with a home run and two RBI while rookie Josh Rojas hit his first career home run, which couldn’t have come at a better time.
But with the game tied in the eighth inning, miracle man Locastro beat out a throw to first on a passed ball strikeout and eventually scored the winning run on a balk by pitcher Yimi Garcia.
Zac Gallen made his fifth start for the D-backs after going 3-1 in his previous four appearances. He is one of five National League starting pitchers all-time to allow three runs or less in each of his first 11 career games.
After getting the always dangerous Cody Bellinger to fly out to center field to lead off the second inning, Gallen gave up a pair of doubles to Cory Seager and Kike Hernandez that scored their first run of the game. He then gave up a single to Russell Martin and an RBI single to the opposing pitcher Tony Gonsolin to put the Dodgers ahead by two.
Gonsolin had a great night on the mound for the Dodgers as well as at the plate. After allowing a leadoff walk to Jarrod Dyson in the first inning, Gonsolin didn’t allow another D-backs runner to reach base until the fourth inning when Escobar doubled for his 25th of the season.
The Dodgers added another run in the third inning on a Bellinger RBI triple, but Gallen settled in after that and was able to toss two more innings of scoreless baseball before the pitch count caught up to him in the bottom of the fifth.
He allowed five hits, one walk, and three earned runs in 5.0 innings with six strikeouts. This was his second consecutive outing of receiving two runs or less of run support.
“I made some better pitches than I thought I did, just really one mistake, I think was to Hernandez,” said Gallen after the game. “The other ones were good pitches they put good swings on them, and you know sometimes you just gotta tip your cap to them.”
Gonsolin was cruising until the sixth inning when he followed up a walk to Josh Rojas by giving up a 2-RBI home run to Escobar, his 31st of the year.
Escobar continues his career season that is one of the best in MLB history for a switch hitter, becoming the fourth player in MLB history to record 30+ home runs/20+ doubles/10+ triples in a season.
The Dodgers were able to get one back in seventh inning by way of a Matt Beaty RBI single that scored Hernandez. But the D-backs answered in the bottom half of the inning when Rojas stepped up with Dyson on base and hit his first big league home run of this career, a two-run shot to tie the game.
It was the D-backs’ 195th home run of the season, which is the fourth highest total in franchise history through 135 games.
Then, after a scoreless top of the eighth that saw Archie Bradley come in to attempt a five-out save, Locastro was able to beat out a throw from catcher Russell Martin after a strike three pitch became a passed ball.
Locastro followed that up with his 18th career stolen base, effectively turning a strikeout into a double. He now has the seventh longest successful stolen base streak to start a career in MLB history.
Adam Jones then got his first hit of the day, a timely single that moved Locastro to third. With one out, Dodgers relief pitcher Yimi Garcia balked while faking a throw to first base that allowed Locastro to score the go-ahead run.
“He can’t help himself, right?” said manager Torey Lovullo on Locastro’s ability to get on base on be in the mix. “It doesn’t matter what he does, he’s going to find himself in the middle of something special, and he has a tremendous knack for that.”
Bradley was able to convert his 10th save since July 30th and shut the door for the win. The D-backs’ offense has been clutch in this series so far, scoring 7 of their 16 runs with two outs. This is the first time since June 18th that the team has been more than two game above or below .500.
Robbie Ray will try to get the series win in a Marquee Matchup on Saturday against Clayton Kershaw. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Ray, who was reinstated from the 10-day injured list on 08/25, has been successful in his career against the Dodgers. The lefty has a 12.13 strikeout per 9.0 innings pitched ratio against L.A., the best all-time vs the Dodgers.