Arizona Diamondbacks Start off Road Series with a Win Against Cincinnati Reds
When four home runs are just enough to eke out a win, you know you're watching Arizona Diamondbacks baseball.
With two home runs from third baseman Ryan Roberts and six solid innings of pitching from starter Armando Galarraga, the D'Backs won 5-4 against the Cincinnati Reds last night in Ohio.
The Diamondbacks' fifth inning looked like the team was setting itself up for failure with a pileup of mistakes and mishaps, but the team scored key runs in between.
First baseman Juan Miranda led off the fifth with a double, setting up a bunt attempt from Galarraga in hopes to advance Miranda.
Galarraga laid down an extremely poor bunt right back to Reds starting pitcher Sam LeCure, which led the 220-pound Miranda being tagged out by a mile at third base, and Galarraga on first with a fielder's choice.
Second baseman Kelly Johnson then singled to right field, but a smart throw from Reds right fielder Jay Bruce got Galarraga out between second and third, and Johnson barely safe at second.
Then Roberts came to clean up that mess, and he hit his second home run of the day to left field.
Right fielder Justin Upton came to the plate after Roberts, and he hit a long shot to right field -- literally within an inch of tacking on another run.
The ball landed on the back edge of the top to the outfield wall, leading to a stand-up triple for Upton, confirmed by the umpires' lengthy video replay review.
Shortstop Stephen Drew couldn't hit Upton in, nding the bittersweet fifth inning for the D'Backs.
But by the time Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz converted the save in the ninth inning on a series of split-finger fastballs, they'd won the game.
The Diamondbacks scored all five of their runs off LeCure -- whom Fox Sports television color commentator Mark Grace referred to as "Frenchie" during Sunday's loss against the San Francisco Giants -- and were held hitless for the final three innings.
Aside from the home runs hit by Roberts and Johnson, center fielder Chris Young also hit a solo shot in the sixth inning, a 432-foot bomb over center field.
In the 10 hits scattered over the game by the Diamondbacks, two of them were by Kelly Johnson, who's had a very slow start to the season.
D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson has been trying different ways to get the second baseman hitting, as his batting average was .158 coming into Tuesday's game -- anemic at best.
Gibson has played Johnson as the second hitter in most games this season, giving him the third spot once, and even benching him in Saturday's loss against the San Francisco Giants in favor of Ryan Roberts.
But last night, Gibson decided to try Johnson in the leadoff spot for just the third time this year, and he wound up with his first multi-hit game since opening day.
Johnson's definitely not yet back in full swing, but with Roberts breathing down his neck for a full-time starting spot, he better hope he shapes up soon.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- Thanksgiving Weekend DUI Checkpoints Around Metro Phoenix
Fri., Nov. 27, 7:00pm
Fri., Nov. 27, 7:30pm
Sat., Nov. 28, 8:00pm
Sat., Nov. 28, 8:00pm
- Arizona Spends Nearly $367K to Honor Muslim Syrian Immigrant
- Arizona Is One of the Most Dangerous States — but At Least We Beat Out Mississippi