ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

‘Answerbacks’ strike again: D-backs score 3 in 8th to tie NLCS vs. Phillies

Oct 20, 2023, 8:39 PM | Updated: Oct 21, 2023, 12:56 am

PHOENIX — They don’t call them the “Answerbacks” for nothin’ and the Arizona Diamondbacks evened up the National League Championship Series at two apiece after scoring three runs in the eighth inning to come back on the Philadelphia Phillies for a thrilling 6-5 victory.

The Phillies initially scored four unanswered runs to lead 4-2 and the D-backs came up short with an opportunity in the bottom of the sixth. Arizona somewhat answered Philly’s insurance run in the seventh, but just with one when it could have been more.

But the third time was the charm, when Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s leadoff double in the eighth inning was followed two at-bats later by a pool shot via D-backs pinch hitter Alek Thomas to tie the game.

After a Geraldo Perdomo strikeout and Ketel Marte single, Corbin Carroll was hit by a pitch to put two up with two outs for Gabriel Moreno. The catcher was moved to the three hole for Games 3 and 4 in favor of Tommy Pham and made manager Torey Lovullo look wise once again with a RBI single to give the D-backs a one-run lead.

Paul Sewald entered to close out the ninth and did just that, but not before a two-out double for Kyle Schwarber put the go-ahead run at the plate. The red-hot Trea Turner, however, struck out.

The D-backs used a bullpen game and did so without a long reliever, a gamble that nearly paid off. Joe Mantiply, Luia Frias, Kyle Nelson and Miguel Castro only allowed one run through four innings, a win in many senses.

Arizona initially led 2-0 but it fell apart when reliever Andrew Saalfrank entered in Castro’s place, immediately giving up a game-tying double in the fifth to Brandon Marsh.

Saalfrank got out of the fifth but then walked the bases loaded to open the sixth. Ryan Thompson took over and got Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm to hit a grounder to third base that should have at least produced a force-out at home.

D-backs third baseman Emmanuel Rivera cleanly fielded the ball with a decent amount of time left to throw the ball home. But Rivera threw it in the dirt in front of Moreno, and Moreno wasn’t able to reel the ball in, scoring Schwarber and then Turner.

 

It was ruled a RBI single for Bohm and throwing error on Rivera for the second run.

Philly opened its scoring on a Schwarber solo homer in the fourth inning off Nelson and got an insurance run in the seventh via a Turner sac fly.

Arizona’s first two runs came off RBI singles for Rivera and Moreno. Both runners that scored either advanced on an error or wild pitch to be in a position to score.

Arizona now has a chance to go back to Philadelphia with a World Series berth one win away if it were to snatch Saturday’s Game 5 at Chase Field. It will be take two of the ace battle between Arizona’s Zac Gallen and Philly’s Zack Wheeler. First pitch is at 5:07 p.m. and you can hear it on the Arizona Sports app, 98.7 and ArizonaSports.com.

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