The Arizona Diamondbacks' newest hero stepped into the spotlight during yesterday's victory over the San Diego Padres at Chase Field.
Rookie outfielder Collin Cowgill came up big at the ballpark on Sunday, smacking in his first-ever major league homer and helping lift the Snakes to a 6-1 win that completed a three-game series sweep of San Diego over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy became the first pitcher in the National League to notch his seventeenth win during Sunday's victory, which also extended both Arizona's winning streak to six games and widened its lead in the National League West standings over the San Francisco Giants.
While all three milestones are stellar achievement, such things took a back seat to Cowgill's heroics.
The 25-year-old outfielder, who was called up from Arizona's Triple-A team in Reno last month, annihilated his scoring slump by going four-for-four at the plate and damn near hitting for the cycle with a homer in the second inning, an RBI double, and a couple of singles. Besides soaking up the cheers of 27,564 Diamondbacks fans in attendance, Cowgill also got a shaving cream pie to the face from his teammates in honor of his achievements.
Second baseman Aaron Hill, who was traded to Arizona last week by the Toronto Blue Jays, also came up big during the game when he swatted his first homer as a Diamondback in the third inning. And it was a two-run moonshot to boot, giving the D-Backs a 3-1 advantage over San Diego at that point. Hill also contributed an RBI single in the eighth, when the Snakes began piling on runs.
It was a familiar situation for the Padres, as the Diamondbacks had been steamrolling them with scoring all weekend long. Friday's 5-0 victory saw Arizona amass four runs in the first inning via a flurry of RBIs from Justin Upton, Willie Bloomquist, and Paul Goldschmidt as pitcher Josh Collmenter racked up his eighth win of the season.
Saturday's 3-1 win, however, featured a two-run homer from Chris Young and an RBI by Miguel Montero as pitcher Joe Saunders snapped his losing streak and earned his ninth win with seven scoreless innings on the hill.
After sweeping the Padres out of Chase Field, the Diamondbacks (75-59) moved to four games ahead of San Francisco in the ongoing horse race for the NL West crown. Currently, there's exactly 28 games left to go in the season, and Arizona will pretty much face off against teams from their division from here on out (save for a visit by the Pittsburgh Pirates in late September).
First up is the Colorado Rockies (64-70), who come to Chase Field for a three-game series starting tonight. Arizona's number two pitcher, Daniel Hudson, (13-9, 3.75) will be going to the mound against Rox rookie Alex White (0-0, 7.50). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For tickets and more information, visit www.dbacks.com.
Benjamin is the clubs editor at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.