PHOENIX — The St. Louis Cardinals built early leads on Arizona and ace Zack Greinke as prior opponents had this season, but there the Diamondbacks were again with their rally bats.
Only this time, the D-backs continued to lay it on once the comeback was completed.
Jean Segura fell a triple shy of a cycle on a 4-of-6 hitting evening, and the D-backs put together a hellacious, nine-run sixth inning in a 12-7 win Monday to open a four-game home series against St. Louis.
“Swinging the bat well,” D-backs manager Chip Hale said. “That was a quick home run. It was big. All the hits that led up — Greinke’s slash getting by the third baseman there — are just huge, especially after falling behind like we did. That was a big, big inning for us.”
Greinke went 6.2 innings (96 pitches) and allowed all seven runs, but three Diamondbacks pitchers threw just 129 pitches as their offense frustrated five St. Louis pitchers into 179 tosses.
Segura wasn’t the only Diamondback with a hot bat. Chris Owings matched his three RBI and Arizona recorded 18 hits to just four strikeouts on the evening.
Many of those hits came in Arizona’s explosive sixth frame highlighted by a three-run Segura homer to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 lead.
To begin the sixth, David Peralta tripled to follow Welington Castillo’s double, bringing Arizona within 5-3 with no outs. Then, Chris Owings’ RBI single plated Peralta before Greinke showed bunt but pulled back to whack a hit past third baseman Matt Carpenter.
“They’re charging and the third baseman was playing really close,” Greinke said, adding that he felt he could pull a hit to the left side off starting pitcher Jaime Garcia. “Just thought all the things lined up it was the smart thing to do. Ended up helping us in a long inning.”
Then came Segura’s blast, but it didn’t end there for the D-backs.
Brandon Drury followed the home run with a single, Paul Goldschmidt walked leading to a Yasmany Tomas ground-rule double to score another run and then a Castillo two-RBI single. Peralta reached on an error by second baseman Kolten Wong — still with one out –to put runners on the corners before Owings’ second at-bat of the inning became an RBI single, making it 11-7, Diamondbacks.
All in all, the Diamondbacks sent 14 batters to the plate to face four pitchers in the sixth frame.
Tomas dropped a liner over the head of Randal Grichuk in center field for a double, and Peralta’s one-out bunt down the right foul line put D-backs on the corners in the bottom of the second inning. Owings, who tied Segura with three RBI, struck out but the third-strike pitch got by All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, allowing Tomas to pull the D-backs within 2-1 in the bottom of the second.
Greinke settled in after a rough start. He entered the third inning with 39 pitches thrown but needed six to move to the fourth by inducing two infield groundouts and a lineout to right field. He needed 10 pitches in the fourth and just 13 in the fifth despite the three runs allowed.
To begin the fourth, a Tomas walk and single by Castillo with no outs set up Peralta for a sacrifice out to advance the runners. Owings hit a sacrifice RBI to tie the game, 2-2.
Arizona built a 12-7 lead in the eighth, when a Rickie Weeks Jr. pinch-hit double scored Owings after the latter singled.
With a runner on, Matt Holliday tripled to score Stephen Piscotty before Brandon Moss’ groundout pushed another run across as the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first frame. Greinke would allow another triple before Arizona got out of the inning.
A single, two sacrifice outs and another single by the Cardinals scored Piscotty for a 3-2 St. Louis lead in the fifth inning. Jeremy Hazelbaker, a substitute for starting left fielder Matt Holliday, followed that up with a 1-0 swing and two-run home run that fell just over the left field fence. The play went to a 1:58 replay review after a fan appeared to have plucked an in-play fly ball, but the call on the field stood for a 5-2 Cardinals lead.
Greinke allowed a Matt Carpenter solo shot in the top of the seventh, which cut the D-backs’ lead to 11-6. Piscotty singled and Hazelbaker tripled to make it 11-7 and end the starting pitcher’s night at 96 pitches, 6.2 innings, 11 hits, seven earned runs, two strikeouts and two homers.
STAT OF THE GAME
10 – All 10 Diamondbacks who went to the plate reached base at least once.
HE SAID IT
“Never crossed my mind and just saw him. Trying to make him feel good (for) driving in all the runs for us.” — Zack Greinke on driving the bus encouragement from David Peralta
– Chase Field decided prior to first pitch to keep the roof closed due to windy weather.
– Arizona demoted relievers Evan Marshall and Tyler Wagner Monday to add fresh arms Keith Hessler and Dominic Leone to the active roster. It wasn’t due to production but the need for fresh arms after the D-backs went 13 innings in a loss to the Pirates Sunday night.
– Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday left in the third inning due to a leg cramp and was replaced by Hazelbaker.
– Josh Collmenter pitched an inning of an extended spring training game Monday, going 11 pitches and allowing no hits. He began the year on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury.
Arizona right-hander Shelby Miller will aim to break out of his funk that began two starts ago with scraped up knuckles on his throwing hand and ended his last performance with mechanical issues.
Miller lasted 1.2 and 2 innings in his last two starts but after working a practice session off the Chase Field mound this week expects to start Tuesday. He walked eight, including four in a row in his last start, over those 3.2 total frames.
For St. Louis, righty Carlos Martinez has allowed six runs in 20 innings through three starts, all victories for the starting pitcher. Martinez has gone at least six innings in all three games he’s played.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MST.