ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks survive nail-biting 9th inning to earn series win over Reds

May 8, 2024, 6:50 PM | Updated: May 9, 2024, 8:06 am

Jordan Montgomery...

Jordan Montgomery #52 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds in the top of the first inning at Great American Ball Park on May 8, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks southpaw Joe Mantiply stranded runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on Wednesday. Arizona captured the opening two contests of the series and won a third straight game for the first time this season.

The D-backs opted not to use their closer fresh off the injured list, as Kevin Ginkel received the opportunity to save the ballgame over Paul Sewald — who made his season debut Tuesday.

Ginkel entered the ninth with a 4-2 lead and battled leadoff hitter Jake Fraley for 10 pitches, resulting in a walk. Manager Torey Lovullo pulled Ginkel with one out after back-to-back singles, as the game-tying run was on third base in a 4-3 game.

Mantiply saved the day with a strikeout of Reds left-handed pinch hitter Will Benson, and Jonathan India flew out to right field.

Sewald threw 15 pitches in Tuesday’s 6-2 victory, but since he missed the first month-plus of the season with an oblique strain, the D-backs avoided using him on back-to-back nights.

Arizona (17-20) has yet to sweep a series and will have a chance to Thursday against a Reds club (16-20) that has dropped seven straight games.

Mantiply also saved a Jordan Montgomery win, as the veteran left-hander gave Arizona seven strong innings with two earned runs while fighting through a few jams.

Jordan Montgomery does his job

Montgomery collected his third quality start in four outings with the club, getting back on track after he allowed six runs against the Dodgers last week (following the bee game).

This was not the smoothest of Montgomery’s starts thus far, as the Reds collected four hits in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made an error on a ball in the corner, but he recorded an assist and made a sliding grab to help limit the damage. The Reds tied the game 2-2 in the fourth on a Jeimer Candelario double, and Montgomery had to fight out of a jam after walking two in the fifth inning.

But a five-pitch sixth inning allowed Montgomery to come back out for the seventh. He recorded two quick outs before play stopped after a changeup in the dirt bounced up and caught home plate umpire Adam Hamari below the belt. Montgomery induced an India bounce out once play resumed, as he retired the final seven hitters he faced.

Montgomery threw 95 pitches and allowed an average exit velocity of 83.6 mph. As a point of reference, Braves starter Max Fried has an average exit velocity of 83.6 mph this season, which is second lowest in MLB among 124 qualified starters.

To start the series, Arizona starters Zac Gallen and Montgomery combined for 13 innings and two earned runs.

With inclement weather nearby threatening to stop the ballgame, the Diamondbacks took a notable 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning on three straight singles from Gurriel, Eugenio Suarez and Gabriel Moreno. Moreno slapped a Fernando Cruz splitter below the zone into left field for the go-ahead RBI, charged to starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft.

A regulation or official game is considered when the away team has made 15 outs and the home team is leading, or once the home team has made 15 outs.

Suarez delivered what turned out to be a game-saving insurance solo home run in the eighth, his first homer since April 12. It was Suarez’s 99th career home run at Great American Ballpark, which he called home to great success with the Reds from 2015-21.

Diamondbacks’ next game

The D-backs play for a sweep Thursday at 10:10 a.m.

Slade Cecconi takes the mound for Arizona and Hunter Greene for Cincinnati.

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