Inside the Box: Saunders goes 8.2 innings in win
After every Arizona Diamondbacks game we’ll examine the
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Inside the Box for
September 18, 2011: Diamondbacks 5, Padres 1
Starter Joe Saunders went out with a mission on Sunday. His team was on a three-game slide and is working to clinch the NL West. They needed a win and a big day from a starter and Saunders gave it to them. In his 8.2 innings, Saunders only gave up one earned run on seven hits. He would have thrown a complete game, but got in some trouble in the ninth. J.J. Putz finished the game on the final out.
The D-backs had been struggling at the plate over the last three games, but Sunday they were back to their old selves. The D-backs combined for 12 hits, including five runs, two of which were home runs.
The D-backs needed better than a .500 road trip. They may be in the lead of the NL West, but a losing streak could bring the San Francisco Giants within striking distance. Considering that the D-backs still have another series with the Giants and the need to go into the series with as large of a lead as possible is key.
The D-backs magic number is now five. Mathematically, they could clinch as early as this week.