After a frustrating series against St. Louis to start the week, the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a win in the worst way.
All they had to do was go through one of the best pitchers in baseball to get it.
Paul Goldschmidt homered, Chase Anderson turned in six strong innings and Brad Ziegler worked his magic in the ninth once again as the D-backs ousted the visiting Oakland Athletics 6-4 in front of 30,059 fans at Chase Field Friday night. In the process, they dealt a loss to Sonny Gray — the AL leader in ERA (2.10) and WHIP (0.98) entering the game.
Arizona didn’t exactly light Gray up, ultimately managing just two earned runs off of him. But it was enough, thanks to Anderson’s solid pitching and some impressive work by the bullpen.
The D-backs fell behind 2-0 when the A’s strung together a single and two doubles to plate a pair of runs in the third, but they manufactured two runs of their own in the sixth, taking advantage of some Oakland miscues. That set the stage for the seventh, where Goldschmidt’s 26th home run of the season highlighted a four-run outburst and helped snap Arizona’s four-game losing streak.
– The D-backs essentially made something out of nothing to tie the game in the sixth. Ender Inciarte walked to begin the inning, then advanced on a passed ball two batters later. Goldschmidt actually struck out on that passed ball, but raced down the line and beat the throw to first anyway. David Peralta then doubled Inciarte home before Welington Castillo lifted a sacrifice fly to right to drive Goldschmidt in.
– Arizona took control of the game in the seventh, when Chris Owings and Aaron Hill each doubled, A.J. Pollock singled and Goldschmidt launched a rocket to deep center field to give the D-backs a 6-2 lead.
– Ziegler converted his 22nd consecutive save opportunity, tying Gregg Olson for the second-longest such streak in club history. J.J. Putz holds the franchise record with 28 straight.
– The D-backs are 17-3 in the last 20 games when they’ve homered.
– Arizona is now 10-5 in interleague play this year.
– David Hernandez made things interesting in the ninth, allowing Oakland to score two runs on a blast by Brett Lawrie that landed high in the left field seats, just in front of Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill.
STAT OF THE GAME
466: That’s how far (in feet) Goldschmidt’s home run traveled to center field, according to Statcast. It’s the second time in three games that he’s driven a ball more than 460 feet.
HE SAID IT
“I truly believe we won that game because our guy — Goldy — hustled on a strikeout. A lot of guys just get upset and walk back to the dugout. He saw that ball get away and he busted to first base. And that, to me, epitomizes our club. And that’s why we play the way we play — because he gives everything he has, every night.” – D-backs manager Chip Hale
– The first ten batters grounded out to begin Friday’s game.
– Pat Venditte — the only ambidextrous pitcher in the Majors — served up Goldschmidt’s monster home run in the seventh.
– Anderson hit in the eighth spot for the Diamondbacks, with Nick Ahmed batting ninth.
The two clubs will meet again at Chase Field on Saturday night. A pair of pitchers that started the 2015 campaign on different teams will take the mound, as Jhoulys Chacin gets the nod for Arizona, while Oakland counters with Aaron Brooks. First pitch is set for 5:10 p.m., with coverage beginning at 4:30 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Chacin (0-0) is making just his second start of the season. He began the year in the Rockies organization, moved on to the Indians and then finally made his first appearance for the D-backs on Monday, picking up a no-decision while allowing two earned runs over 6.1 innings in a 5-4 loss to the Cardinals.
Despite his limited playing time in 2015, Chacin does have 110 career major league starts to his name. Saturday will be the first time he’s ever faced the A’s, however.
Brooks (1-1) will be making his fourth start of the season, though he also made two appearances with the Kansas City Royals in May and June. In his last start, he was touched up for eight earned runs in just 1.2 innings of work against Toronto on Aug. 12. He also allowed an earned run without recording an out in a relief appearance on Aug. 14.
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