ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll delivers go-ahead RBI to complete sweep of Reds

May 9, 2024, 1:21 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks' Corbin Carroll...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Corbin Carroll, center, celebrates with third base coach Tony Perezchica (21) as he rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

(AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Corbin Carroll drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning and Paul Sewald collected his first save of the season in a 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks win to sweep the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark on Thursday.

The D-backs opted to leave catcher Tucker Barnhart on second base instead of using a pinch runner with two outs and Carroll digging in. Carroll got his hands around a cutter up-and-in the zone to shoot a single to center off Fernando Cruz, and Barnhart snuck his foot in ahead of the tag at home without a dive. TJ Friedl’s throw was up the line enough for the run to score.

The three-game sweep was Arizona’s first during the regular season since facing the Cubs at Chase Field last September. The Diamondbacks’ last road sweep was June 9-11 at the Tigers.

Arizona (18-20) led 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning after starter Slade Cecconi gave them 16 effective outs.

Cincinnati’s Spencer Steer tied the game with a two-out, two-run single off D-backs reliever Ryan Thompson who inherited Logan Allen’s mess in the seventh inning. A sinker did not get down enough and Steer put a great, compact swing on it to left field.

But the Diamondbacks’ offense came up with timely at-bats throughout the series, and eight walks played a huge role in Thursday’s win.

The D-backs had two quick outs in the eighth, but Barnhart and pinch hitter Pavin Smith worked two-out walks to flip the batting order for Carroll.

Sewald made his second appearance after coming off the 15-day injured list Tuesday with an oblique strain. It was the first instance of his career he missed time on the IL, and his first save opportunity went as smooth as one could ask for.

He struck out Will Benson and Tyler Stephenson before getting Friedl to ground out on a checked swing to end the game. Sewald recorded 13 saves with the D-backs last year after the trade deadline and six more in the postseason.

Arizona has won four straight, its longest winning streak of the season. The Reds dropped their eighth consecutive game and will meet the D-backs again at Chase Field on Monday.

Joc Pederson continues to produce

The D-backs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Joc Pederson solo shot to right off Hunter Greene. It was Pederson’s fourth of the year as he continued to be a constant source of power in the lineup.

Pederson single up the middle in the sixth and scored on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. go-ahead double to take a 2-1 lead. His savvy came out in the ninth when he bunted his way aboard, read the pitcher and stole second on a huge jump.

The veteran’s OPS jumped to .950, which leads the Diamondbacks by a healthy margin — Ketel Marte is second at .879.

Slade Cecconi solid

Cecconi was an out away from five shutout innings before Jeimer Candelario hit a solo shot the other way to tie the game 1-1. Benson crushed the next pitch 105 mph off the wall, feet away from a go-ahead homer, and Cecconi hit catcher Luke Maile with a fastball two pitches later.

Cecconi’s last start got away from him after three perfect innings after which he allowed six runs. This time, he kept the Reds right there by escaping the jam and giving his offense a chance to respond, which it did with two runs in the sixth.

The Diamondbacks trusted Cecconi to give them more outs, and he did, unconventionally.

Elly De La Cruz, MLB’s leader in stolen bases, walked to lead off the sixth and swiped second. He took off for third, but Cecconi stepped off and had him picked. Arizona caught De La Cruz in a rundown to prevent him from his 23rd steal of the season — De La Cruz got his 23rd an inning later and scored on Steer’s single.

Cecconi finished with 5.1 innings, one earned run on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

In Cincinnati, Arizona’s starters Zac Gallen, Jordan Montgomery and Cecconi combined for 18.1 innings and three earned runs for a 1.47 ERA.

The D-backs head to Baltimore for a three-game set against the Orioles starting Friday.

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