The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a miserable start. Before Sunday, the D-backs lost seven of their last nine games -- four of them by two runs or less. But this weekend offered a glimmer of hope for D-backs fans as the Rattlers took two of three games against the 2009 National League champion Philadelphia Phillies.
The Diamondbacks won 7-4 on Friday, lost 3-2 on Saturday, and won 8-6 in a slug-fest last night, thanks to some late-game heroics from D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds.
On Saturday, the D-back bullpen was once again the source of the team's troubles, giving up a game-winning home run to Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth after a terrific start from D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy.
Kennedy hadn't gone past five innings in any of his first three starts this year, but retired the Phillies in order in five of the first six innings and set down 15 straight during one stretch.
"Ian was exceptional," Diamondbacks Manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. "I loved his aggressiveness. I thought he pounded the zone early and often and was able to locate all his pitches."
Kennedy's excellent performance was thwarted by Werth's ninth-inning, two-out home run off of D-backs reliever Juan Gutierez.
Last night's game had all the makings for another letdown for the D-backs, but a mid-game rally and some late-game heroics propelled the Rattlers to the win.
The D-backs were down early in last night's game, trailing 3-0 until a fifth-inning rally tallied five runs -- including three off of a Mark Reynolds home run -- giving the D-backs the lead going into the sixth.
Up 5-3 in the sixth, the Phillies responded with a three-run rally to give Philadelphia a 6-5 lead going into the seventh.
The D-backs tied the game in the seventh off of a John Hester double, which scored Chris Young.
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With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, Reynolds hit a double to center, scoring left fielder Cole Gillespie and setting himself up to score.
Young put the nail in the Phillies coffin with a two-out single, which scored Reynolds, giving the D-backs the win.
"We played a complete game, and that's good to see out of us, especially when we've ruined a couple of opportunities in these first couple of weeks to feel better about ourselves," Hinch told reporters after the game. "We're only a couple of weeks into this thing, and it feels like it's been a little longer just on how we've lost."
The D-backs travel to Colorado for a three-game set with the Rockies, which starts tonight. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR-620 AM. For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.