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D-backs escape multiple jams after Ray’s early exit for win over Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray reacts after giving up an RBI single to Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez during the third inning of a baseball game, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ margin of error isn’t that significant in the race for the National League Wild Card spots, making the sight of starter Robbie Ray being removed on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds a frightening one.

Ray’s early exit left the D-backs bullpen in a spot to pick up the pieces. While there was immediate damage done by the Reds, the bullpen was able to bounce back and survive three straight innings of dangerous spots for a 7-5 win.

With Ray at 87 pitches into his outing and one out into the fifth inning, he had a meeting on the mound with trainers and manager Torey Lovullo.

After a discussion and inspection of Ray’s left hand, he was taken out of the game due to a blister on his left middle finger.

Arizona had a 6-2 lead when Ray departed and that quickly went to a 6-5 scoreline after Ray’s relief Stefan Crichton gave up a three-run homer.

That made it three earned runs for Ray in 4.1 innings on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.

After Matt Andriese and Andrew Chafin completed the sixth inning to keep it at a one-run lead, Chafin allowed the first two runners to reach and left Kevin Ginkel with two runners on and no outs in the seventh.

Ginkel was clutch, recording two strikeouts, and Jarrod Dyson added a sliding catch in right to shut the door on any rally.

The right-hander returned for the eighth inning with an insurance run via Wilmer Flores’ single to make it a 7-5 lead. Ginkel walked two batters before escaping another jam without giving up a run.

Then came Archie Bradley in the ninth, which it wouldn’t surprise you to read was another dramatic affair for the closer. Joey Votto singled and Eugenio Suarez singled to open the inning and make it the third straight inning the Reds had two runners reach.

After recording two straight outs, Bradley walked Philip Ervin before Curt Casali flew out and the D-backs held on for the victory.

A solo homer for Nick Ahmed, three-RBI dinger via Ketel Marte and Josh Rojas’ two-RBI single was the offense responsible for the other six D-backs runs.

With a loss for the Chicago Cubs, the D-backs enter Saturday 2.5 games back for the second wild card spot.

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