PHOENIX — It was befitting.
Both the Diamondbacks and the Brewers, each far south of the .500 mark this season, scored their first runs of a 9-3 Arizona win without more than a single hit.
In fact, the D-backs scored their first three runs Sunday with only a lead-off single by Yasmany Tomas leaving the infield during the fourth inning.
Coming during a gloomy seven-game span that’s included four double-digit scoring outputs by opponents, they’ll take it.
“There were mistakes that we took advantage of. Then guys started to square up the ball,” manager Chip Hale said of the series-clinching victory.
Milwaukee’s problems began in the fourth inning when starter Jimmy Nelson allowed a leadoff single to Tomas before hitting Rickie Weeks Jr. and Chris Owings. Then, on a Tuffy Gosewisch pop fly, Milwaukee third baseman Jonathan Villar plunged into the D-backs’ dugout to make a difficult grab — necessary considering the bases-loaded, no-outs situation — but that allowed Tomas to tag up and score Arizona’s first run.
Bradley followed the play with a safety squeeze sac bunt that scored Weeks Jr. as a throw home went above catcher Martin Maldonado’s head, and Owings scored on a throwing error that failed to beat Segura out at first.
“The errors: I think we pushed the envelope a little bit,” Hale said. “Good things started to happen.”
Milwaukee finished the afternoon with three errors, one of which led to an unearned run.
Arizona was not the only beneficiary of some ugly baseball.
That said, few things Villar did to the Diamondbacks would be categorized as ugly to the objective baseball fan.
Villar, who batted 7-of-12 with five walks in the three-game series, haunted Bradley to begin the game, fouling off seven straight pitches of a 14-pitch at-bat before being walked to lead off the game. The Brewers’ third baseman would steal second, reach third on the first out of the game and score off a wild pitch to give Milwaukee the early lead.
Fittingly for Arizona’s win, Jake Barrett closed the game with a strikeout against Villar well after Bradley was chased.
For Arizona’s starter, it was a far-from-perfect pitching outing — three walks and 116 pitches in just 4.2 innings. Yet, Bradley came out of the wreckage without anything more than a few scratches. He allowed just three hits, three earned runs and a homer to go with eight strikeouts.
“You saw how hot this team was hitting, and he was able to shut them down a little bit,” Hale said.
“It’s almost like he’s throwing the invisiball up there. He’s been very impressive.” — Hale on reliever Steve Hathaway’s recent play, which on Sunday included two innings pitched with one hit and three strikeouts.
STAT OF THE GAME
5: A five-run fifth inning that gave Arizona the lead tied a franchise record with five extra-base hits. That’s been done seven times, most recently on Aug. 11, 2015 against the Phillies. “That’s more what we’re built for with this lineup when you line up Goldy, Lamb, Tomas, Weeks. It’s not an easy lineup to hit-and-run,” Hale said.
Jake Lamb cracked a first-pitch sinker off Nelson for a two-run homer that gave Arizona a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Following that, Chris Owings’ RBI triple scored Weeks Jr. from second after it got over the glove of right fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Gosewisch reached on a fielder’s choice out before helping put the D-backs ahead 8-3 on Phil Gosselin’s home run to left-center off reliever Michael Blazek.
Arizona added a ninth-inning run with a Weeks Jr. single that scored Lamb. Lamb led the D-backs with three hits.
Daniel Hudson earned the win with a brief appearance: 0.1 innings pitched of clean ball to close out the fifth frame. The rest of the bullpen took it the distance. Hathaway, Enrique Burgos and Jake Barrett tossed the final four innings, allowing two hits, walking four and striking out six without giving up an earned run.
In the bottom of the first inning, left fielder Ryan Braun whipped a groundball toward home as the D-backs’ Michael Bourn headed home from second. Bourn snuck his leg in between Maldonado’s legs but was tagged out at home.
Villar scored again with a solo home run produced in his second at-bat. He launched a 79 mph curveball to left-center field as Milwaukee built a 2-0 lead.
Arizona led 3-2 when Villar walked with his third at-bat and found third on a bad pick-off throw by Gosewisch. Villar scored on an RBI single by Arcia, tying the game.
– Arizona improved to 7-16 wearing their red D-backs uniforms.
– Bradley’s pitching got progressively more efficient after a long first. In order, he pitched innings of 30, 25, 20 and 17 tosses before needing 24 throws to record two outs in the fifth frame.
– Villar is a home run away from becoming just the fourth Brewer to record 10 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a season. He has reached base 17 times in his last five games and has four outings straight with a extra-base hit.
The Diamondbacks take Monday off as they travel to begin a three-game road series against the New York Mets.
Ace Zack Greinke is expected to take the mound for Arizona after hitting the disabled list with an oblique injury on June 28. He compiled a 3.62 ERA and a 10-3 record before the injury.
New York will send out lefty Steven Matz (3.63 ERA, 8-8) to face the D-backs.
First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. MST and the game will be broadcast on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.
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