Monday, June 20, 2016

D-backs' doubles, triples trip up Phillies

 Archie Bradley allowed just one unearned run over six innings to pick up his first win since May 29 as the D-backs beat the Phillies, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Arizona will go for the sweep of the four-game series Monday.
"The guys are really bearing down and playing," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We're getting good starting pitching, which has been the key for us all year. It makes our bullpen a ton better, the hitters are comfortable, they can settle in and have good at-bats and they get off the field quickly. So everything is clicking right now."
Bradley helped his own cause in the third when his sacrifice fly gave the D-backs a 1-0 lead.
Jake Lamb's two-out double in the sixth scored Paul Goldschmidt and Arizona added a run in the seventh on Michael Bourn's RBI single. Phil Gosselin tripled in the ninth and scored on a wild pitch, then Lamb tripled home Goldschmidt to pad the D-backs' lead.
The Phillies got a quality outing from Zach Eflin, but their offense once again struggled to score. They were able to push across a run in the sixth when they capitalized on a Nick Ahmed error, which prolonged the inning, and allowed Andres Blanco to score on Tommy Joseph's ground-ball double play.
"Not a whole lot to be happy about except for Eflin," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It was a good confidence booster for him, as well as the team. We were in the game until the ninth inning, so that's a step in the right direction. However, the three hits, once again is our bane."
Step forward: In his previous start against the Dodgers, Bradley cruised through four innings before allowing three runs in the fifth. The right-hander was not able to stop the bleeding in that fifth and was unable to get out of a spiraling sixth. Sunday, though, Bradley was able to pitch out of a jam in the fifth and then allowed just one run despite a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Joseph, the Phillies' cleanup hitter, grounded into a double play and Cody Ascheflew out to center to end the threat. It's become commonplace for an offense that has scored 12 runs in its last seven games.
"I feel like in the last outing, I gave up that homer to Joc [Pederson], and it just kind of rattled me," Bradley said. "I lost the feel and lost not confidence, but the things I wanted to do." More >
Can I get a do-over? Surely if Eflin had the choice, he'd erase his MLB debut from the history books. Five days ago, Eflin didn't make it out of the third inning against the Blue Jays and allowed eight earned runs. He entered his first start at Citizens Bank Park with a 27.00 ERA. But the 22-year-old right-hander made a much better impression on the home crowd, going 5 ⅔ innings and allowing just two D-backs runs.
"To a certain extent," Eflin said when asked if he felt the need to prove himself. "I go out there every outing looking to dominate the game. It's just fun to go out there and throw in front of 40,000. You've gotta go out there with a clear mind and learn from every outing."
Mackanin lifted him after 88 pitches with two outs and two runners on in the sixth, opting to let David Hernandez get out of the jam.
"We wanted him out on a positive note," Mackanin said. "I didn't want him to throw over 100 pitches and maybe get burned the next inning, or that inning. He's 22 years old. We wanted him to come out of that game with a positive feeling for his next outing." More >
Two-out rallies: One of the things new D-backs hitting coach Dave Magadan has preached is the importance of tacking on runs. Arizona added some insurance in the sixth and seventh innings, both runs coming with two outs. The sixth-inning rally got started with Goldschmidt's two-out single.
"They were huge," Hale said. "Some balls that were really hit hard, too, up in the gap. And good baserunning, good turns to be able to score. It's not that easy."
After the game the D-backs optioned infielder/outfielder Brandon Drury to Triple-A Reno to make room on the roster for right-hander Shelby Miller. The team will activate Miller from the disabled list to start Monday against the Phillies.
D-backs: Miller will make his first big league appearance since May 24 when he takes the mound on Monday at 10:05 a.m. MT in the final game of the four-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Miller has been on the disabled list with a right index finger sprain, and he made a pair of rehab starts for Class A Visalia.
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson (4-5, 4.46 ERA) starts the series finale for the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET. He is looking to get back on track after a rough stretch. He's given up 14 runs over 17 innings in his last three starts (7.41 ERA) and walked three batters in each.

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