D-backs’ Tommy Pham delivers extra-inning walk-off in comeback win vs. Rangers

Aug 21, 2023, 11:27 PM

Tommy Pham...

Tommy Pham #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run double to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 in eleven innings at Chase Field on August 21, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — “That’s probably one of the best wins I’ve ever been a part of,” Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Tommy Pham said after walking off the Texas Rangers in extra innings at Chase Field, 4-3, on Monday night.

The Rangers (72-53) were up two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 11th when they intentionally walked Ketel Marte, who had tied the game 1-1 in the ninth inning with a no-doubt solo shot off Texas closer Aroldis Chapman.

Marte became the game-tying run with men on the corners against southpaw Will Smith.

The Rangers tried their luck with Geraldo Perdomo, who lined a double into right field for a RBI. D-backs (65-61) third-base coach Tony Perezchica held up Marte at third base with the relay coming in to set up Pham.

Pham saw a middle-middle fastball from Smith and laced it into right-center field. It rolled to the wall, and Pham sprinted around the bases until he was met at second by his rapturous teammates.

“As you can see, this team has a lot of heart,” Pham said. “So I’m just trying to contribute, do what I can to help the team went do my part and go from there.”

Arizona’s late-game heroics brought their winning streak to three games and their deficit in the National League Wild Card race to 0.5 games back of the third spot.

It was its 32nd comeback win of the year and third straight extra-inning win after starting 0-3 in free baseball.

“They fight and compete, you put yourself in the right position enough times and I feel like we had a couple of opportunities to get that big hit by doing the little things and just being smart,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “Thinking little, allowing big things to happen and the right guy in the right position comes up.”

Pham is riding a 12-game hitting streak and has already made a significant impact on the top of Arizona’s lineup since joining the team at the trade deadline. He has an extra-base hit in four of the last five games, and Lovullo called him an engaged player who has shown good process.

The D-backs don’t get to extras without Marte, who knew exactly where the ball was going once it left his bat in the ninth. The veteran entered Monday’s game 1-for-his-last-15 but picked up two hits, delivering a needed jolt of power after his team was shutout through eight innings against Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery.

“I went up there looking for the breaking ball, it came and I was planting my back foot and was able to hit it,” Marte said. He carried his bat as he watched the ball fly over the wall in left, flipping it after taking nearly 13 steps to first base.

The D-backs turned to closer Paul Sewald in the 10th, and he successfully stranded the Manfred Man on base by striking out Ezequiel Duran to end the inning. The D-backs squandered the opportunity to win the game, as Jace Peterson popped it up and Gabriel Moreno struck out against Chapman with two runners aboard. Chapman threw 32 pitches in his outing.

An intentional walk bit the D-backs in the top of the 11th, as Corey Seager stole second after getting put on base. With two runners in scoring position, Nathaniel Lowe lined a double to left off the glove of the diving Lourdes Gurriel Jr. against reliever Kevin Ginkel.

The Rangers were primed to snap a four-game losing streak, but the D-backs showed a relentlessness and disciplined approach that earned them one of the best first halves of the MLB season.

“We have that extra ingredient that says we don’t stop, we compete despite some pretty tough circumstances,” Lovullo said. “We’ve walked through some tough, tough days. And we’re slowly coming out the other end and it means we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going out there and competing even down to our final out. I’m proud of these guys.”

The Diamondbacks have won eight of 10 games after dropping nine in a row.

D-backs pitching strategy

The Diamondbacks pieced together quite a pitching outing with seven arms against the highest-scoring team in the American League.

Joe Mantiply started as an opener, but Lovullo went to the bullpen with one on and two outs in the first inning. Scott McGough entered and struck out the first three batters he faced, tossing 1.1 scoreless innings.

That gave prospect Slade Cecconi a head start, and he bridged the gap to the eighth inning with five one-run frames in his fourth career appearance. He retired 11 batters in a row at one point, and his only blemish was a solo home run to Adolis Garcia.

“I don’t know how many deep counts there were, but I just think he was working efficiently through each at-bat by pounding the zone, and it’s a very aggressive fastball with good finish,” Lovullo said of Cecconi.

Cecconi allowed one hit over his final four innings and did not surrender a walk. He threw 73 pitches, 52 of which were strikes.

Justin Martinez provided a scoreless eighth with a couple strikeouts as he continues to give Arizona good innings after getting recalled on Thursday. Miguel Castro, after back-to-back four-run outings, entered a one-run game in the ninth and went 1-2-3.

The D-backs needed everything they could get out of their arms with Montgomery shoving on the other side. Montgomery, whom the D-backs reportedly checked in on at the deadline, allowed four hits and forced three double plays during his outing.

Two of those four hits were from Alek Thomas and Marte, who were due up in the ninth, leading Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to pull his starter at 92 pitches.

What’s next?

Zac Gallen will start for Arizona Tuesday’s two-game series finale against Texas’ Jon Gray.

Gallen has allowed one earned run over his last two starts, both wins. His line against the Rangers earlier this year was five innings, three earned runs and six strikeouts.

Gray allowed four runs in 5.1 innings against Arizona in May. He has also allowed only one run over his previous two appearances.

First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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D-backs’ Tommy Pham delivers extra-inning walk-off in comeback win vs. Rangers