D-backs’ Corbin Carroll hits milestone, Cecconi deals in series-clinching win vs. Reds
Aug 27, 2023, 6:04 PM | Updated: Aug 28, 2023, 9:49 am
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks drove in three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete their 35th comeback victory of the season, 5-2, against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field on Sunday.
The D-backs (69-62) took three of four games against a fellow National League Wild Card contender, putting an 8-7 loss in 11 innings on Saturday night behind them. Arizona earned its fifth-straight series victory, as it is 12-12 this month despite starting 0-9.
Corbin Carroll became the first rookie since 2012 to reach 40 steals and 20 home runs in a season on Sunday, while starting pitcher Slade Cecconi kept the D-backs in a tight battle with 5.2 one-run innings.
“We came into the series with some fire,” Carroll said. “We knew it was gonna be a big series. They’re right in the hunt. They’re a good team. To be able to come out of it with with three wins, it’s gonna bring good momentum carrying into L.A.”
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. delivered the game-tying solo home run in the seventh inning, a moment manager Torey Lovullo said energized the dugout with the score 2-2.
Gurriel’s shot was his 20th of the year, giving the D-backs four players with at least 20 home runs — Gurriel, Carroll, Christian Walker and Ketel Marte. It is the first time they’ve had four players do so since 2016 (Yasmany Tomas, Jake Lamb, Paul Goldschmidt and Jean Segura).
Three straight walks to start the bottom of the eighth loaded the bases for the heart of the Diamondbacks’ order and Christian Walker’s sacrifice fly gave Arizona the 3-2 lead.
After tacking on two more runs, the D-backs called on Ryan Thompson, who was selected from Triple-A Reno Sunday morning. Thompson executed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the victory over Cincinnati (68-64).
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ties it! pic.twitter.com/cH5Gmyqzbu
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 27, 2023
Slade Cecconi steps up
Cecconi threw five shutout innings before giving up a pair of singles and sacrifice fly in the sixth. The 24-year-old’s final line was 5.2 innings, one earned run, three hits, no walks and five strikeouts.
The young righty retired 15 straight hitters entering the sixth inning, as the Reds struggled to get the barrel on the ball with an 80 mph exit velocity on 15 balls in play.
He successfully got ahead throughout the performance with 14 first-pitch strikes to 20 batters.
Cecconi leaned heavily on his fastball, which he deployed with mostly sharp command and arm-side run.
“He’s landing all his pitches,” Lovullo said. “It’s all off of the fastball command, and the secondary stuff is rolling off of that. These young players, they prepare for it. … The group that comes up has to come up here and perform. They’re not Sunday helpers. They got to come up here and execute to help us win.”
Sunday was his third career start and fifth appearance with Arizona using him in a hybrid role. His ERA dropped to 2.57 in 21 innings of work since getting called up earlier this month.
“I’ve thought about moments like these my whole life, waiting for a chance to do my thing on the biggest stage,” Cecconi said.
Cecconi and Reds designated hitter Nick Martini battled in the second inning in a 14-pitch at-bat in which Martini fouled off 10 pitches. Cecconi got him swinging on a up-and-out fastball and the pitcher tipped his cap to Martini after the duel.
“I mean just foul ball after foul ball, had to stay locked in for the whole at-bat and finally got him on a good fastball up,” Cecconi said. “I was pretty pumped about it.”
Slade Cecconi getting fired up after winning a 14 pitch AB.
And, the hat tip. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/sU1DDKUsFw
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 27, 2023
Corbin Carroll’s milestone
Carroll started the eighth inning with a lead-off walk, and he took second base on the next pitch. It was his 40th steal of the season, and he became the first Diamondbacks player since Eric Byrnes in 2007 to swipe 40 bags with at least 20 home runs.
No National League rookie had ever accomplished the feat. Mike Trout (2012), Mitchell Page (1977) and Tommy Agee (1966) were the only rookies to reach the milestone before Carroll, who did it with a month to spare.
Elly De La Cruz throws out Carroll
Carroll was flying around the bases after hitting a ball off the wall in center field and third-base coach Tony Perezchica waved him home with two outs.
Reds standout rookie shortstop Elly De La Cruz unloaded a 99.7 mph relay throw from the outfield home to beat Carroll for the out.
The two rookies have shown some eye-opening athletic feats this year, and this play was a butting of the heads with Carroll’s speed and De La Cruz’s arm.
— MLB (@MLB) August 27, 2023
“There’s two parts of me, the part of me that sits in the dugout knowing that Ketel Marte, one of our leading hitters, is on deck and we’re trying to try to scratch cross another run,” Lovullo said. “The other part of me is a baseball fan.
“There’s some really fine young talented players on this field. You saw one of them unleash a perfect throw and knocked down the runner at home plate. A lot of speed, a lot of strength, a lot of precision at that one time on the baseball field was a lot of fun for me to watch the baseball fan, but then I quickly turned the page and became pissed that we had not scored the run.”
The D-backs head to Los Angeles for their final three-game series against the Dodgers Monday through Wednesday.
Zac Gallen will pitch Monday against Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller. Merrill Kelly gets the ball Tuesday against Clayton Kershaw.
The series opener begins at 7:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.