Wednesday, June 29, 2016

9th-inning rally lifts Phillies over D-backs

The Phillies came from behind to beat the D-backs, 4-3, on Tuesday night at Chase Field, striking for a pair of runs in the ninth inning to win consecutive games for the first time since May 17-18 and clinch their first series victory since then as well.
"It's been May since we've done it, I think, and it was good to win, obviously," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "[Starter Jerad] Eickhoff just kept pitching himself in and out of trouble all day and he ended up with a pretty good outing."
D-backs closer Brad Ziegler (2-3) blew just his second save opportunity of the year -- both coming in his last three appearances. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Paredes hit a leadoff double, then scored on a single by Andres Blanco. Veteran first baseman Ryan Howard drew a bases-loaded walk with one out for Philadelphia's go-ahead run against Ziegler, his old college teammate from Missouri State University.
"I'm sure [Howard] would have preferred to hit a grand slam to win the game, but I'm sure he's happy with getting that run across with a walk," Mackanin said. "He battled."
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco went 2-for-5 with a homer and reliever Hector Neris(2-3) picked up the win. Jeanmar Gomez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 21st save. More >
D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb went 2-for-3, reaching base three times. He gave Arizona a 3-2 lead in the seventh with his team-best 16th homer, after Yasmany Tomas had tied the game the previous inning with a solo blast of his own.
Arizona starter Zack Greinke exited with left oblique tightness prior to the third inning. The D-backs' bullpen limited the Phillies to one run over the next six innings until Ziegler's mishaps in the ninth. The D-backs lost their fourth in a row. More >
"It's definitely frustrating, we don't like to lose games at all, period," said Ziegler, whose team fell to 13-27 at home. "We get the idea that we should be better at home than we are and it's tough to explain. Tonight, guys put us in a good position to win, especially with Zack going down early."
Bringing it home: After hitting five home runs on the D-backs' last 10-game road trip, Tomas brought his power back home. He hit his 13th homer of the year to lead off the sixth, tying the game at 2 -- but it was just his third homer at Chase Field and his first since April 26. According to Statcast™, the blast went 460 feet with an exit velocity of 107 mph. It was the longest home run hit by an Arizona player this season.
"The game's slowing down a little bit for him," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "When he gets the right pitch, he can hit it as far as any of our guys. It's good to see and that was a big home run for us."
Eickhoff pitches in with a hit: Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff helped his own cause with a single to right field that scored Freddy Galvis in the top of the second inning to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead.The D-backs answered in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 1. The RBI was the third of the season for Eickhoff.
Too many missed chances early: The D-backs had the leadoff man on in each of the first five innings. Yet, they only scored one run, missing out on several scoring opportunities.Jean Segura was picked off first to end the first. The bases were loaded with no outs in the second, but strikeouts from Peter O'Brien and Nick Ahmed surrounded Greinke's sacrifice fly.
Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a double play to end the third. In the fourth, Arizona couldn't capitalize on a leadoff triple from Lamb. With runners on the corners and no outs in the fifth, Michael Bourn and Goldschmidt both struck out and Lamb grounded out. The D-backs again left two runners on in the sixth.
Howard walks tall: Howard's seven-pitch walk with the bases loaded proved to be the difference in the game. The veteran fell behind 1-2 against Ziegler but didn't bite on the reliever's changeups and sinkers out of the zone. More >
"He's been battling and taking better at-bats lately," Blanco said of Howard. "It was not a hit but it counts as a big at-bat."
"It reminded me of the way we played for the first two months of the season. We stayed in the game and scratched and clawed to just eke out a win. That's the way we did it for two months." - said Mackanin
Phillies: Zach Eflin will take the mound in the series finale against the D-backs on Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET. The right-handed pitcher has a 1.54 ERA in two starts since allowing nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his big league debut June 14.
D-backs: Archie Bradley takes the hill for the series finale against the Phillies on Wednesday at Chase Field at 12:40 p.m. MST. Bradley beat the Phillies on June 19 with six scoreless innings. The 23-year-old right-hander is looking for his second win in three outings in his career-high ninth start.

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