The Arizona Diamondbacks will be spending the final two months of the season looking for bright spots to build on heading into 2017. A strong finish by Yasmany Tomas would certainly fall into that category. As would some decent performances from the young starting pitchers on the staff.
They got both of those on Friday night.
Tomas homered twice, Braden Shipley gave Arizona six solid innings and Welington Castillo coaxed a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th as the Diamondbacks edged the Milwaukee Brewers by a final of 3-2 in front of 20,008 fans at Chase Field.
Shipley was far from dominant, but he got the job done in just his third MLB start. He scattered two earned runs and four hits over his six frames while walking six, exiting after allowing a leadoff homerun to Keon Broxton in the seventh.
From there, the bullpen took over. Six different relievers combined to toss five shutout innings, with lefty Adam Loewen ultimately picking up the win.
How badly did the Diamondbacks need this victory? It’s just their fourth win in their last 16 games and just their 18th win in 56 tries at home this year.
Chris Owings was able to save a run in the first by fielding a grounder off the bat of Ryan Braun and firing home in time to get Jonathan Villar out at the plate.
Tomas took a 3-2 pitch deep into the left field seats for his 20th homerun of the season in the second inning. Then he delivered an encore by putting an 0-1 pitch in the right field seats for his 21st home run in the fourth.
Tomas has now hit safely in 14 of his last 16 contests and has piled up a ridiculous eight longballs in that stretch.
David Peralta made a leaping catch into the right field wall on a well-hit ball off the bat of Orlando Arcia in the ninth.
Arizona committed two errors, including one on the very first batter of the game. Villar hit a long fly toward the left field wall, Tomas raced over to catch it — and actually had it for a moment — before it popped out of his glove. It wasn’t a routine play by any means. In fact it would’ve been a pretty spectacular catch. The end result was the Brewers leading off the game with a runner on third.
The D-backs squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth. With runners on first and second and just one out, Jake Lamb grounded into a fielder’s choice and Tomas grounded out to third, ending the inning without any runs crossing the plate.
Arizona’s 1-3 hitters combined to go just 2-for-12 on the evening.
STAT OF THE GAME
6: The number of multi-homer games by Tomas this season.
HE SAID IT
“Yeah, I’m happy with it. I mean, I didn’t have my best stuff tonight, but I thought that — the stuff I did have — I did a good job at kind of managing the game and not letting them break the game open.” – Braden Shipley
– The Diamondbacks hosted “Pass the Torch Night” in honor of the start of the Summer Olympics. Nine former Olympians were on hand to throw out the first pitch, including Dan Majerle, Roger Kingdom, Augie Ojeda, Ernie Young, Misty Hyman, Olga Korbut, Dwayne Evans, Trina Jackson and Zeke Jones.
– Braun was booed by the fans every time he stepped to the plate.
These two teams will square off again on Saturday night at Chase Field. Patrick Corbin gets the nod for Arizona while Milwaukee counters with Matt Garza. First pitch is set for 5:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30 on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Corbin (4-10) has struggled in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, piling up double-digit losses for the first time in his career to go with a 5.30 ERA. He suffered a defeat against the Dodgers in his most recent outing, allowing six runs, only three of which were earned, over 5.1 innings.
In five career games against the Brewers, however, Corbin is 2-2 with an impressive 2.88 ERA.
Garza (2-4) is sporting an ERA (5.32) very similar to Corbin’s in 2016, though Saturday will be just his 10th start of the season. He held the Pirates to just one run over five innings on July 31, picking up his second win of the year.
And if you’re looking for the strange, random baseball stat of the night, Garza’s ERA in nine career meetings with the D-backs is 2.88, identical to Corbin’s career ERA against Milwaukee.