Photo by Jordan Megenhardt
By Greg Dillard
For the first four innings of Tuesday night’s matchup against the Astros, it appeared as if the D-backs were destined for another disheartening loss. Houston’s red-hot offense picked up where it left off on Monday by plating seven early runs off Arizona starter Jason Marquis.
Marquis was knocked out of the game early and the D-backs faced a six-run deficit heading into the bottom of the fifth. That’s when the game took a startling turn.
Gerardo Parra led things off with a single, one of his four hits in the ball game, which tied a career-high. Pitcher Micah Owings, who took over the mound in the fifth, then blooped a single just inside the right field line. After a Willie Bloomquist single, Justin Upton drilled his 32nd double of the season into left field to score a pair of runs.
Miguel Montero followed suit with his second hit of the game, an RBI single to right field. The D-backs’ backstop finished the evening with three hits and a walk.
The four-run Arizona fifth narrowed the Astros’ lead to just 7-5. Of course, the D-backs were far from finished. The hit parade carried over in the sixth as Paul Goldschmidt and Parra started the inning off with hits. With one out, Bloomquist completed the miraculous comeback by smacking a two-RBI single to center.
“You know how I feel about Willie,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “I like it when he’s rested and playing with energy. He’s a veteran guy. He’s got experience, and it helps him in situations.”
Tuesday night marked the second time this season in which the D-backs came back from a club-record six-run deficit against the Astros. They did so at Minute Maid Park on May 27.
“Everybody played great tonight really,” Gibson said. “Everybody played outstanding. It was a good team win. They stuck together, and we ended up winning that game.”
It was a whole new ballgame as the momentum quickly swung toward the Arizona dugout. With the score tied at 7-7, the D-backs still had Bloomquist on third with two outs in the sixth. Then up came Upton, the undisputed leader of the Arizona offense.
He soon broke the tie by depositing a Fernando Rodriguez pitch into the left-centerfield stands for a two-run homer. The bomb was Upton’s 23rd of the season and inched the D-backs in front, 9-7. The D-backs right fielder finished with three hits and four RBI. He also scored three runs and has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games.
“It’s a huge win,” Upton said. “We’ve been down the last two nights and haven’t played particularly well on this home stand. So we definitely didn’t want to drop another one. We were able to battle back.”
The high-octane offense didn’t stop there as the D-backs’ bats kept on hitting. Ryan Roberts drove home Bloomquist on an RBI double in the eighth. Kelly Johnson then tacked on another insurance run with his 22nd double of the season that scored Roberts.
In the end, the D-backs’ offense plated 11 runs on 17 hits, while four players had multi-hit games.
Closer J.J. Putz came on in the ninth and converted his sixth-straight save opportunity to seal the 11-9 win.