Triples Alley: Diamondbacks pull off comeback win over Cardinals to end losing streak

Jul 25, 2023, 11:32 PM

Ketel Marte...

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after hitting a triple against the St. Louis Cardinals during the eighth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on July 25, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cardinals 3-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled through, rallying for three runs late to snap their five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday at Chase Field.

They did so leaning on their best players, starting with Merrill Kelly, who gave the D-backs six innings of one-run ball in his first start after spending nearly a month on the injured list with a blood clot in his right calf.

Ketel Marte gave the building life, flying around the bases for a leadoff triple in the bottom of the eighth down 1-0. Jake McCarthy chopped a single up the middle to tie the game and end the shutout.

With two outs and McCarthy on second, manager Torey Lovullo pulled Corbin Carroll — who was set to pinch hit — off the on-deck circle for Dominic Canzone with first base open.

Canzone worked a critical walk after falling behind 1-2, and Lovullo turned to his young All-Star who now had the opportunity to swing the bat and not get intentionally walked.

Carroll clobbered changeup to dead center, and it bounced off the wall for a two-run, go-ahead triple in another high-leverage triumph for the rookie. He has two walk-off hits this season.

Kevin Ginkel entered for the save and delivered, pumping his fist and yelling after the games ended with a 6-4-3 double play.

After five games of up and down execution and lack of cohesion, putting together not only a win but a hard-fought late-inning comeback meant a lot for Lovullo.

“It’s those little things you remember most about the day when you watch them go out and execute the way they did,” Lovullo said. “Just piling up quality at-bat after quality at-bat that helped you win a baseball game and it’s so fresh in our minds right now. We haven’t had this in several days. These are the things that kind of push you to the next day and create a little bit of energy and a little bit excitement.”

Carroll said he felt the win meant a little more than usual given the grind Arizona has been this month, entering Tuesday’s game having lost eight of 10 games after the All-Star break. McCarthy noted it gives the Diamondbacks the opportunity to build momentum.

Kelly kept the D-backs afloat, getting through six innings for the sixth time in his last seven starts.

The only run St. Louis scored off came in the third inning, when Brendan Donovan stole home on a double steal after Kelly struck out Nolan Arenado.

Kelly lasted 86 pitches, saying he was feeling fatigued by the end of the outing as he works to get his stamina back. The D-backs activated Kelly before the game, after the blood clot dissipated and he rehabbed at Salt River Fields.

“Towards the end probably got tired out a little bit, but I think that’s probably normal,” Kelly said. “Just gonna take a little bit to get my feet back underneath me … The intensity of every pitch is obviously a lot different at this level, so it can take me a minute to get back to the to game form. But other than that, it felt pretty good.”

Lovullo asked Kelly how he was feeling after five innings, and the righty said he was ready to go. He changed his jersey due to how much he was sweating and pitched a scoreless sixth.

Kelly faced 25 batters and held the Cardinals to six base runners. He said the fastball felt sharp in his return.

The veteran adds stability to the rotation after weeks of shuffling behind Zac Gallen, Tommy Henry and Ryne Nelson. Kelly has been as consistent as they come for Arizona this year. The last start of his that lasted fewer than five frames was Game 2 of the season.

Lefty Steven Matz of the Cardinals also went six innings and escaped jam after jam early. The D-backs stranded a runner in scoring position during the second, third and fourth innings, continuing a recent trend of having difficulty bringing runners aboard in.

The top of the order came up in the eighth inning against lefty JoJo Romero after the D-backs collected one hit over the previous three frames.

Marte’s triple not only put the D-backs in position to tie the game but allowed McCarthy the chance to drive a runner home and continue the rally. Lovullo said had Marte stopped at second, he would have called for a bunt.

Instead McCarthy executed with the infield in, and Marte walked home. McCarthy teased Marte after the triple, saying he didn’t know the veteran could move that fast.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tapped out and Christian Walker struck out, bringing on a decision for both clubs. The Cardinals had brought in righty Chris Stratton, so Lovullo had the freedom to go to one of his left-handed bats on the bench.

Carroll had the day off from starting and was the natural pick, but not if the Cardinals were just going to intentionally walk him.

“I felt like if (Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol) had to choose between A or B, he was going to choose anybody other than Corbin,” Lovullo said. “I knew that Dom would give us a quality at-bat. I felt like we could load up Corbin if Dom got on base, and it worked out just right. Sometimes the puzzle falls together the way you want it.”

In high leverage situations this year — measured with inning, score, outs and number of runners on base in mind — Carroll had an .893 OPS in 71 plate appearances entering the at-bat. With runners in scoring position, he owned a .908 OPS.

Now, he’s 3-for-4 as a pinch hitter.

What’s next?

The D-backs earned the chance to win a series Wednesday with ace Zac Gallen on the hill.

The Cardinals’ probable starter is Jack Flaherty, whom the D-backs picked up four runs in six innings against in a 6-3 win on April 17.

First pitch is at 12:40 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM, the Arizona Sports app and 

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Triples Alley: Diamondbacks pull off comeback win over Cardinals to end losing streak