Arizona Diamondbacks Steal Wild Win from Los Angeles Dodgers

Diamondbacks Dodgers
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 30: Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks stretches off of first base to get a force out on a ground ball hit by Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning at Chase Field on August 30, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Diamondbacks won 5-4. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 4

PHOENIX, Aug. 30 – Tim Locastro scored the go-ahead run on a balk by Yimi Garcia, capping off a comeback as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-4, for their fifth straight win.

The scoring began in the top of the second off Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen.  Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager belted a double to left field, ending it with a tremendous slide to avoid the tag.  Two batters later, second baseman Kike Hernandez roped a double down the left field line, scoring Seager for the first run of the game.  Catcher Russell Martin then lined a shot off Gallen’s ankle, putting runners on the corners.  That brought up pitcher Tony Gonsolin, whose single to right scored Hernandez.  It was his first career RBI and made the score 2-0.

Another run came across for the visitors in the top of the third.  With one out, third baseman Justin Turner hit nine foul balls en route to a 14-pitch walk.  That brought up center fielder Cody Bellinger, who ripped an RBI triple into the right field corner.  With the score now 3-0, Gallen struck out Seager and then retired left fielder Chris Taylor on an unassisted groundout to first.

Diamondbacks Chip Away, Dodgers Get a Run Back

The pitchers traded zeros until the bottom of the sixth.  Rookie left fielder Josh Rojas drew a leadoff walk from Gonsolin, bringing up the red-hot Eduardo Escobar.  On 1-2, Escobar smoked a no-doubt home run into the right field seats, cutting the score to 3-2.  That ended Gonsolin’s night, with Pedro Baez taking over pitching duties.  After a strikeout by Christian Walker, third baseman Jake Lamb smashed a towering fly to right center field that no one could reach, giving Lamb his second triple of the season.  However, he did not score, as right fielder Adam Jones whiffed, and shortstop Nick Ahmed grounded to second.

The Dodgers got one run back in the top of the seventh off T.J. McFarland, but they could have had more.  Hernandez led off with a line drive at Rojas.  The left fielder took two steps in, but the ball – one with heavy backspin – carried better than expected.  Rojas jumped but could not haul it in, and Hernandez ended up with a double.  Martin followed with a single to left, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.  Kevin Ginkel then relieved McFarland and fanned pinch hitter A.J. Pollock for a huge first out.  After Pederson popped to the second baseman, first baseman Matt Beaty singled to left, scoring Hernandez.  Turner then ended the inning with a liner to left.

Rojas Redeems Himself

With the score now 4-2, the Diamondbacks seemed to find an even stronger resolve than they already had.  Speedy center fielder Jarrod Dyson came to the plate with two out and the bases empty in the bottom of the seventh.  He saw a defensive alignment that he liked, so he dropped a drag bunt between the mound and first.  Dyson beat it out, charging up the crowd as Rojas stepped to the plate.

Rojas is from the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear and was one of the prospects who came over in the Zack Greinke deal.  He had just made a fielding mistake that led to a run and did not want to go down as a goat, especially in his home.  On a 2-0 count, he redeemed himself, sending a drive over the fence in right for his first major league home run.  The two-run clout tied the game at four and sent the crowd into an even bigger frenzy.

A Strange Ending

The score remained tied until the bottom of the eighth.  Left fielder Tim Locastro led off with a strikeout; however, a passed ball on the third strike allowed the speed demon to reach first.  On the first pitch to the next hitter – Jones – Locastro stole second.  Jones dumped the next pitch into center for a single, putting runners on the corners with nobody out for Ahmed, who struck out.  Now, with one out and catcher Alex Avila stepping to the plate, an inning-ending double play groundout was a possibility.  Before a pitch even came to Avila, however, that scenario became impossible.  Pitcher Yimi Garcia had balked, scoring Locastro and sending Jones to second.  Avila and Vargas both failed to reach, with Avila striking out and Vargas popping to third.

Archie Bradley, who entered the game with one out in the eighth, retook the mound to finish the game.  He hit the first batter, Martin, on a 1-2 count.  When Martin picked up the ball and flung it back to Bradley, many laughed, but with the tying run now on base in the form of pinch runner Kristopher Negron, it was no laughing matter.  Two strikeouts later, Bradley got to 0-2 on Beaty, bringing the fans to their feet.  However, after a ball and two foul balls, Beaty singled to left, keeping the inning alive.  That brought up Turner with the tying run in scoring position.  He blistered the second pitch right at Escobar, who was now at third.  It kicked off the heel of his glove, but he barehanded the bounce and rocketed the ball to first in time to retire Turner by less than a step.

Moving Ahead

Bradley (4-5) earned the win in relief, while Garcia (1-4) took a tough loss.  The win gave the Diamondbacks their fifth in a row and kept the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division at nine.  Furthermore, the Diamondbacks kept pace with the Chicago Cubs to stay four and a half games out of the second wild card spot.  The two teams play again Saturday evening and then close out the four-game series Sunday afternoon.

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