Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte makes game-winning hustle play vs. Twins

Jun 25, 2024, 10:55 PM | Updated: Jun 26, 2024, 5:50 am

Ketel Marte...

Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after hitting a two run home run during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Chase Field on June 25, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte stuck to his word in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt cruised through six innings with one earned run, but a mistake to catcher Ryan Jeffers led to a game-tying home run in the seventh inning, 4-4.

Marte told Pfaadt back in the dugout, “Hey, we got your back. We’re gonna win this game,” Pfaadt recounted.

Geraldo Perdomo started a two-out rally with a walk, and Corbin Carroll singled to give Marte a chance against hard-thrower Jorge Alcala.

Marte tapped a slider past the mound and raced out of the box. Second baseman Willi Castro backhanded it and threw on the run, but Marte beat the toss. Perdomo scored what became the game-winning run.

“Inning kind of got away from (Pfaadt), but that’s baseball and just happy to help out,” Marte said via Spanish interpreter. “In that moment you just give it all for your team, you got to run hard.”

“Solid answer back in that bottom of the seventh inning,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Those are tough things to absorb. … Brandon, I felt like was dealing, deserved that opportunity to pitch through those situations with a low pitch count and just got clipped. And the team responded to that with two outs. It was a couple really crucial at-bats. It was Gerry to Corbin setting it up for Marte. And what can you say about Marte, he’s a beast.”

On Monday, MLB revealed Marte led all National League second baseman in All-Star Game votes with finalists to be announced Thursday.

In his first at-bat on Tuesday, Marte yanked Twins starter Joe Ryan’s sixth pitch of the game into visiting bullpen for a two-run shot, his 16th homer of the year. Marte entered Tuesday with 3.9 bWAR, most among MLB second basemen and third overall in the NL.

The 30-year-old said that felt so good to share the news with family, as making the All-Star Game has been a goal of his but specified winning is the greater focus.

“I love the path he’s on and the energy that he’s playing with,” Lovullo said. “He’s playing the game extremely fast on defense. He’s barreling up the ball on offense and he’s working his butt off. He can do it a lot of different ways. Today you saw with a little bit of power, a little bit of legs and a little bit of glove.”

Brandon Pfaadt was cruising

Pfaadt was aggressive in the zone and it paid dividends early. He pushed through four scoreless innings with 46 pitches, and he sat at 67 pitches with one out and nobody on in the seventh. He said working the sinker early to get ground balls played to that advantage.

But the long ball bit him again, as Byron Buxton hit a solo shot on a fastball over the middle during the fifth inning. A walk to Carlos Santana and infield hit by Buxton set the table for Jeffers.

Pfaadt threw five scoreless innings on Wednesday at the Washington Nationals before he allowed a two-run shot to Jesse Winker. He has allowed 13 home runs in 16 starts, seven in the fifth inning or later.

“Felt good. Another aggressive team, so we used that to our advantage and we were able to get through innings pretty quickly,” Pfaadt said. “Obviously it was unfortunate what happened in the seventh, but we came out and got the win. Good start to the series.”

Arizona got 2.2 scoreless innings out of Kevin Ginkel, Ryan Thompson and Paul Sewald out of the bullpen.

Sewald has recorded 15 straight scoreless outings and is 10-for-10 in save opportunities. Thompson has not allowed a run in 18 of his last 20 appearances.

D-backs dominating series openers

Arizona started the year 3-15 in series openers, poor enough to warrant several conversations in press conferences.

Since then, the D-backs are 7-0 and undefeated in June to begin a matchup. Aside from forgoing advanced meetings for a couple of those games, not much has changed behind the scenes. Go figure, that’s baseball. But it’s also a welcome development for a club that continues to strive toward being better than “staying above water.” Arizona won or tied five of those six series.

Diamondbacks’ next game

The D-backs play for a series victory on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m.

Ryne Nelson starts for Arizona, while 23-year-old Simeon Woods Richardson is probable for Minnesota (43-36).

Catch first pitch on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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