Arizona Diamondbacks fans watching their team's battle against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday evening may have felt a nagging sense of déjà vu sometime around the ninth inning. It's probably because the game was shaping up to be an exact repeat of how the defending World Series champs beat the D-backs the night before at AT&T Park.
On Monday, Arizona was holding onto a two-run lead over the Jints going into the final frames before their bullpen gift-wrapped comeback runs to San Francisco. The result was a 5-4 loss to the Giants.
Tuesday night's game started heading down the same road when the D-backs pitching staff blew a two-run advantage in the eighth and ninth.
Fortunately, the Snakes managed to stop the bleeding and persevered for the 6-4 victory in extra innings. It tied up the three-game series, the first meeting between the National League West teams this season, and one apiece.
Arizona prevented history from repeating itself in the eleventh when Didi Gregorius earned his eighth hit as a D-back by smacking a double and then later kicking it into high gear on the base paths to help his team nab the go-ahead run.
After dashing to second base following his swat, he motored it to third and beat out the throw from San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt, who's missed catch error on an Alfredo Marte delayed the toss to teammate Pablo Sandoval. Gregorius then dashed like a madman into home plate when a pitch by Giants reliever Santiago Casilla went wild and caromed off catcher Buster Posey's glove. A Gerardo Parra double then scored Marte.
Gregorius' hitting heroics and speed might've earned a victory for the D-backs, but its was bad pitching that denied the win for starting pitcher Patrick Corbin. It's a shame, considering he pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and gave up three hits to start the game.
Paul Goldschmidt supported Corbin's efforts with an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run jack in the third to make it 4-0.
Then, like on Monday, the Giant rallied in the eighth. San Francisco's Brandon Crawford's RBI triple scored one and a Hector Sanchez groundout brought another. Arizona's J.J. Putz then gave up a two-run homer in the ninth, his third blown save this season, to Belt to tie the game.
Here's hoping the D-backs closer justifies his estimated $4.5 million salary by, you know, actually closing a game this afternoon during the rubber match with the Giants.
Arizona's Ian Kennedy (1-2, 5.47 ERA) goes against San Francisco southpaw Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 2.05). First pitch is at 12:45 p.m. There's no TV coverage but, as always, KTAR 620 AM will broadcast the game. More info: www.dbacks.com.