PHOENIX — It looked like the Diamondbacks were going to cruise to a win in the opener of their three-game series with Marlins at Chase Field Friday night and it all disappeared in a flash.
Miami pinch hitter Justin Bour connected for his first career grand slam on a 1-0 changeup off reliever Tyler Clippard in the seventh inning to tie the game, 5-5, and the Marlins went on to beat Arizona 8-6.
The implosion in the decisive frame began with D-backs starter Patrick Corbin, who had pitched five consecutive scoreless innings after giving up a run in the first.
Corbin allowed a lead-off double off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, at which point manager Chip Hale called Clippard up in the bullpen. Corbin then struck out Chris Johnson before the trouble really started. The light hitting Miguel Rojas and Jeff Mathis were walked by Corbin, ending his night.
“The two walks to the seventh and eighth hitters, I thought at that point he’d had enough,” Hale said of pulling Corbin after the game. “Clip has been our seventh-inning guy and I knew once we went to Clippard, we’d get Bour as a pinch hitter; just hung the off-speed pitch there. He stayed back and hit it out.”
Three of the runs on the grand slam were charged to Corbin and he was frustrated with his manager’s decision to get the bullpen going once he gave up the Stanton two bagger.
“I thought I had to maybe bear down a little bit and almost pitch around guys trying to throw perfect pitches,” Corbin said. “It’s tough to go out there when you give up a hit, you just want some trust in you. Maybe show some trust in the starter that they can work their way out of that.”
Clippard continued by walking Adeiny Hechavarria and Martin Prado following the Bour bomb to end his appearance after facing three batters and not recording an out. Christian Yelich connected for a go-ahead, two-run triple as the Marlins took a 7-5 lead off Zac Curtis, quickly ending his night.
Arizona’s bullpen failed to get a fifth straight out when Jake Barrett gave up a one-run single to Marcell Ozuna extending the Marlins lead to 8-5.
The damage in the inning was seven runs, 11 batters and a failure to get seven consecutive hitters out.
Corbin gave up four runs in 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, two walks and five hits, but Clippard was tagged with his third loss.
Nick Ahmed and Paul Goldschmidt both had solid performances at the plate. Ahmed was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Goldschmidt was also 3-for-4 with a walk, run scored and a stolen base.
Josh Collmenter worked two clean innings of relief, allowing only one hit to lower his ERA to 3.86 on the season.
Peter O’Brien struggled at the plate in his first major league start. O’Brien hit fifth in the lineup and was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He only saw 11 pitches. Two of the strikeouts came with runners on first and second. He wasn’t able to find his footing as the Marlins attacked him with a steady diet of breaking balls.
STAT OF THE GAME
2: Justin Bour has hit two pinch-hit home runs off Clippard the last two seasons. Bour had a solo shot versus Clippard on September 6, 2015, when Arizona’s reliever was with the Mets.
HE SAID IT
“Really bad outing, one of the worst of my career, probably, as far as execution. I only threw one strike and it got hit for a home run, not much to say.” — Diamondbacks reliever Tyler Clippard on his appearance.
– Chip Hale said he’s going to consider giving O’Brien the day off on Saturday with them facing Jose Fernandez.
– The Diamondbacks are a season high 11 games under .500 at 26-37. Arizona has sole possession of last place, a half-game behind the Padres for fourth in the National League West.
The Diamondbacks and Marlins will play the second of a three game series at 7:10 p.m. from Chase Field. Arizona tries to get to Miami ace Jose Fernandez, who is 9-2 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Fernandez has struck out 110 batters to 25 walks in 74.2 innings this season.
Zack Godley makes his first start of the season for the Snakes. Godley went 5-1 last season and had a strong 3.19 ERA.
Pregame starts at 6:30 p.m. and all the action can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
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