Ryan Roberts hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday night at Chase Field to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks in the hunt for home-field advantage in the first round the National League Division Series, which starts Saturday.
The 7-6 win was the D-Backs' league-leading 48th come-from-behind victory of the season. They remain one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the number-two seed in the NL postseason bracket. Both teams play today in the final game of the 2011 regular season, and a win by the D-Backs and a loss by the Brewers would mean the D-Backs open the best-of-five NLDS at home.
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The D-Backs' shocking comeback overshadowed the stellar major-league debut of starting pitcher Jarrod Parker, who was drafted in the first round by the D-Backs in 2007 and then underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2010 season. Parker pitched 5.2 shutout innings, giving up only four hits to the Dodgers while walking only one and striking out one.
The teams entered the 10th inning tied 1-1, but reliever Micah Owings imploded, giving up five runs (four of them earned) on four hits and a walk. It looked bleak for the D-Backs at that point, entering the bottom of the 10th trailing 6-1 and the Brewers having already beaten the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4.
The Dodgers quickly recorded two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning before Cole Gillespie (hitless on the year) reached on an infield single in which Dodgers reliever failed to cover first base. Then Miguel Montero singled to center, sending Gillespie to third, and Chris Young walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter John McDonald hit a hard grounder to third that was booted by third-baseman Aaron Miles, scoring Gillespie and making the score 6-2. Then, Aaron Hill walked on five pitches from Dodger closer Javy Guerra, scoring Montero. With the D-Backs trailing 6-3, Ryan Roberts (who had been 0-for-4 on the night) hit the first pitch he saw from Guerra into the left-field stands. Game over. D-Backs win 7-6.
The regular season ends today with Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.58 earned-run average) taking the mound against Ted Lilly (11-14, 4.12 ERA). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.