Diamondbacks pick up 6th straight win, surviving hectic ballgame vs. Reds
Aug 25, 2023, 11:46 PM | Updated: Aug 26, 2023, 4:20 pm
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks produced 10 runs, nine walks, three triples and three steals while a fan snatched a potential home run ball out of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Spencer Steer’s mitt.
The Reds received two home runs from a player who had not gone yard in the majors since 2019 — Nick Martini –, picked up a grand slam in the ninth inning from Will Benson and made two errors with several other defensive mistakes.
A lot went down at Chase Field on Friday night, and the D-backs (68-61) traversed the chaos in a 10-8 victory to win their sixth straight game.
Rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt allowed two runs in 5.1 innings to pick up his first MLB win, a relief after 12 starts. Pitching coach Brent Strom jokingly called him one of the best 0-6 pitchers in baseball before the game.
It was not a shiny night for the bullpen with six earned runs, but the D-backs piled on in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to keep the lead safe until Kevin Ginkel locked it down after entering in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks had not scored double-digit runs since July 18 in their 16-13 win over the Atlanta Braves, and they did so without a home run.
“Offensively, it was just one thing after another, it was a lot of baserunners, a lot of traffic, a lot of clutch hitting,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “There was some heady base running, bunting to advance runners and put guys in scoring position, locked in at-bats after that. It was a really good day for our offense. It was an all-field approach. It was patience. I want that to continue.”
D-backs fan interference
The defensive play of the game didn’t count and got a young fan removed from his seat yet was, in Lovullo’s words, “a pretty amazing play.”
The score was 8-4 Arizona, and Tommy Pham ripped a ball to the wall in left with runners on the corners and two outs.
Steer timed his jump perfectly and had the ball looked like it was in his webbing, but a kid in the stands ripped the ball with his glove away from Steer in mid-air for the snag.
A young fan robbed Spencer Steer of robbing a Tommy Pham home run but the call was overturned and Pham was called out pic.twitter.com/G6MptDkr1N
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 26, 2023
The call was initially a home run, but Pham knew it wouldn’t count once he saw the replay.
“I didn’t know what happened, then we pick up the phone and we got to our team inside here, and they told us … ‘Hard to explain exactly what happened, but it’ll probably get overturned,'” Lovullo said. “Once I saw it, I had the same reaction as every fan in the stadium. That was a pretty remarkable play by the kid. … He bleeds Sedona red, I know that that’s for sure.”
Brandon Pfaadt’s first win
Pfaadt has been one of Arizona’s most reliable players throughout August, and after his performance on Friday, his ERA for the month sat at 3.03 across five starts.
He threw 33 pitches and allowed a run in the second inning, then followed with three straight 1-2-3 frames to give Arizona’s offense a chance to respond.
“I’ll take it,” Pfaadt said. “I think we definitely fought through some some stuff, especially in the second, got out of it, which was huge. And then in the fourth, the bats came alive. … I think landing a few offspeed pitches helped open up the heater, and the sinker was good today. (Gabriel Moreno) was great behind the plate pitch calling, and I think using that sinker definitely was a game changer.”
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 26, 2023
Pfaadt finished three of his five strikeouts with the sweeper and another with the changeup. He threw 12 sinkers, four were called for strikes with only one ball in play on six swings.
Lovullo felt his starter’s stuff started to back off in the sixth inning, leading to the pitching change with a runner on a one out. Pfaadt had one earned run at that point, but the inherited runner scored on a Martini homer off Bryce Jarvis.
D-backs’ offense rallies
Arizona’s offense had multiple runners aboard every inning after the second.
Eight of nine starters reached base multiple times. The outlier was Lourdes Gurriel Jr., whose double in the fourth inning ignited a five-spot to chase Reds starter Hunter Greene.
Alek Thomas, Jace Peterson and Pham drove in the five runs, Peterson doing so on his first of two triples.
Peterson is 3-for-5 with four RBIs since pinch hitting on Thursday, and Pham extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
Arizona scored another run with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. Christian Walker popped up to shallow left, and shortstop Elly De La Cruz made the catch but Steer ran into him.
Geraldo Perdomo read it immediately and tagged up, diving into home ahead of the throw.
“I thought that was a really, really heady play and the things we do really well around here,” Lovullo said.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 26, 2023
Arizona took advantage of its opportunities on the bases after a couple mistakes cost it runs in Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Reds.
Perdomo hit an RBI single and Ketel Marte added on with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, while Gabriel Moreno and Peterson hit back-to-back RBI triples in the eighth.
“I felt like we ran the bases great today, we learned from yesterday’s mistake,” Pham said. “Guys just being relentless up and down the lineup, that’s key and you see how important it is to always tack on runs because you never know.”
The D-backs led 10-4 entering the ninth inning, but Justin Martinez struggled with location to load the based and allowed the grand slam. Ginkel entered with one out and nobody on, striking out a pair of hitters to pick up the save with Paul Sewald unavailable.
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) August 26, 2023
The Diamondbacks tied a season high with six straight wins and climbed into the second National League Wild Card spot. Fellow contenders the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres all lost on Friday.
Zach Davies returns
Davies will make his return from the 15-day injured list after missing more than five weeks with lower back soreness.
Cincinnati will use Fernando Cruz as an opener.
First pitch is at 5:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.