In the top half of the eighth inning at Chase Field last night, the boo birds came a-calling once again on the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks. The pesky San Diego Padres had just padded their lead after a throwing error by catcher Miguel Montero, who was trying to prevent Everth Cabrera from stealing third. (Cabrera had reached on a two-out walk, then stolen second.) Instead, Montero's errant toss sailed into left field, allowing the Pads to plate another run.
But just when the D-Backs seemed to be pulling their usual late-inning, fold-it-up routine, they battled back. Down 5-3 in the bottom half of the eighth, Montero, atoning for his mistake, doubled, then eventually scored on a Gerardo Parra single. Following a double-play groundout, Chad Tracy electrified the once-bitter Chase Field crowd with a pinch-hit equalizer over the right-field fence. Now, with the game tied at five apiece, the jeers quickly turned to cheers.
In the bottom of the ninth, All-Star selection Justin Upton stood at second base with two outs. Then Mark Reynolds -- the man who ripped the team a new you-know-what over the weekend and then hit a key three-run homer that led to a comeback win against the Colorado Rockies -- stepped to the plate.
Now, these are the sort of potential game-turning situations that Arizona has squandered all season long. (Need proof? Sunday's victory in Denver marked the first time since June 11 that the D-Backs had won a one-run contest.) But Arizona and Reynolds showed some cojones for the second time in two days. On a 2-2 pitch, the should-be All-Star ripped a Cla Meredith slider into left field, sealing a 6-5 walk-off win and the D-Backs' third victory in a row.
The last time they won a trio in consecutive order occurred from May 20 through 23. More positives in this one included a pretty decent effort by starter Jon Garland. Though winless since May 19, the right-hander gutted out six innings, allowing three runs, eight hits, and two walks, and striking out four.
The D-Backs hope to keep the good times rolling before the All-Star break with another strong effort against the Padres tonight, beginning at 6:40. Scheduled starters are Arizona's Doug Davis (3-8, 3.15 ERA) versus SD's Kevin Correia (5-6, 4.58). TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. More info: www.dbacks.com.
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