D-backs All-Star Corbin Carroll walks off Pirates to clinch series win
Jul 8, 2023, 5:57 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2023, 9:16 pm
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ “create chaos” motto was in full effect during Saturday’s 3-2 extra-inning victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of 31,801 fans.
Corbin Carroll in the 10th inning — to the sounds of MVP chants echoing throughout Chase Field — got the chance at glory with the bases loaded after an intentional walk to Ketel Marte before him.
The rookie All-Star smashed a walk-off double off star closer David Bednar to right field that secured the D-backs a rollercoaster of a series victory after two games.
“Really good pitcher, one of the best in the league and has been for a couple of years now,” Carroll told reporters postgame.
“He has good stuff but I was just able to get good barrel on the ball and make something happen.”
Pittsburgh (40-49) turned in a masterclass performance from righty All-Star Mitch Keller, throwing seven scoreless frames of one-hit ball, but the Pirates could not back him up.
Arizona’s offense had sputtered to a virtual stop through five innings, garnishing two walks and no hits.
The D-backs (52-38) looked lost at the plate before Alek Thomas launched a home run to right field in the eighth inning, putting the game into a deadlock at one apiece.
“I was looking for something else and just reacted to that pitch. Thankfully, I hit a home run,” Thomas told reporters.
Pittsburgh scored one run in the 10th, but a diving web gem from Christian Walker at first base kept two runs off the board and left the D-backs within striking distance.
Chaos was indeed created in the 10th frame. Jake McCarthy stepped up with Dominic Canzone (big league debut) on second base and ripped a bunt right at Bednar, who ultimately could not make the play at first.
Thomas hit an infield single, once again tying the game. Geraldo Perdomo bunted to move the runners to second and third before the Pirates walked Marte to load the bases for Carroll.
It proved to be the wrong choice.
CORBIN CARROLL WALK OFF AND CHASE FIELD ERUPTS.
Final: 3-2 Arizona pic.twitter.com/3jPdb66fY3
— Wills Rice (@WillsRice17) July 8, 2023
“It was a great win. You are up against it and against an All-Star closer. We just kept fighting all day long,” Lovullo told reporters postgame.
“Their All-Star starter was no hitting us for most of the game but we just kept grinding it down. When we had to, we made some very critical plays defensively and clutch at-bats that helped us win this baseball game.”
Arizona responded with a bullpen game headed by Kyle Nelson in the first, followed by Tyler Gilbert, Austin Adams, Miguel Castro and Andrew Chafin.
Gilbert worked three innings and was tagged for the only run in an overall outstanding performance from the D-backs pen.
“You can’t say enough about the bullpen,” Lovullo said.
“You talk about giving up one run through nine innings. … You’re doing your job. We were held in check for a long time but did enough to grind. That was very pleasing as well.
One of the sole early-game highlights for Arizona came on a fantastic relay between All-Stars Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Perdomo to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
In the top of the third and with a runner on first base, the Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds ripped a double to left field (only hit for both teams in the first five frames) that was cut off on a slide by Gurriel.
Gurriel rushed the ball back to the cutoff man Perdomo, who rifled it to catcher Gabriel Moreno, subsequently tagging out Henry Davis on a play at the plate.
An All-Star studded relay to save a run! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/mOxxEJGYpT
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) July 8, 2023
Alek Thomas update
Thomas has hit .296 with two home runs and five RBIs in 15 total games after he was recalled from Triple-A Reno.
The speedy center fielder said after being recalled, he has changed the way he places his feet in the box as well as shortened his leg kick to get more direct towards the pitcher.
Although Thomas will not be at the festivities in Seattle, he had some lofty expectations for his teammates, predicting a home run from each of Carroll and Gurriel, a pinch-hit homer from Perdomo and two strikeouts in a scoreless outing for Zac Gallen.
“Gallen is gonna make a play. They’re going to hit a ground ball right at him and he’s going to make a play,” Thomas said.
The D-backs turn to Zach Davies before the All-Star game kicks off on Tuesday. Catch all the action at 1:10 p.m. on 98.7, the ArizonaSports app or ArizonaSports.com.