Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
It may have taken a bit longer than expected, but the Arizona Diamondbacks won the series opener over the Los Angeles Dodgers by a final of 4-2 in 12 innings.
At the very least, those that stuck around for the nearly four and a half hours of action would get to see the D-Backs snap a nasty losing streak that has hovered over their heads. By no means was the game lacking of stress, but ultimately, it counts as a win.
Having taken the lead in the top of the ninth inning on a wild pitch off an intentional walk, the winds of change may have been swirling around the Arizona dugout. Before any thought of luck crept into their cerebrum, Juan Uribe connected with a shot that rattled the left field foul pole off Addison Reed.
Through the drastic blown save and consistently dreadful offensive output, the D-Backs still found a way to win.
Squaring off against the forgotten ace of the National League in Zack Greinke, offense was not going to be easy to come by. Thankfully, the bats woke up against the Dodgers bullpen (not facing Brian Wilson or Kenley Jansen) for their final three runs.
It took until the sixth inning to break the deadlock. Miguel Montero became a one-man wrecking crew after taking Zack Greinke deep to put the club ahead 1-0, then making a true game-saving play (albeit unnecessary, the ball was on a clear path to roll foul) in the bottom of the eighth.
Welcomed back to the lineup on Friday night was fan-favorite Cody Ross. He only adds to the mix of confusion and convoluted playing time, but at the very least, slumping players won’t be thrust into the lineup out of necessity. Having a rough first evening back at the plate, Ross went 0-for-5.
While Wade Miley is undoubtedly thrilled about his ability to put together a quality start, he would love to have back the final pitch of his evening. As backup outfielder Scott Van Slyke hammered an opposite field home run, Miley lost any chance at a win (which still matters to pitchers) and potentially, may have doomed his club. Over six strong innings of work, he only gave up two hits and one earned run, but did walk five in collaboration with his eight strikeouts.
The start by Miley on Friday carried some extra significance due to the fact of who will be starting the series final two encounters. Neither Mike Bolsinger nor Josh Collmenter strikes fear into the padded bank accounts of the Dodgers hitters who see both men as a way to increase their batting average and runs batted in. Getting the opener proves decisive as the worst that can happen is winning just one.
Playing hero from the second spot in the batting order, Aaron Hill drove in the game-winning runs in the top of the 12th against closer 1-D for the Dodgers, Chris Perez. Lacing a single that brought home Gerardo Parra and Cliff Pennington meant that somebody was going to have to come on for the save in the bottom half of the inning.
With the clock making a beeline for midnight, Trevor Cahill took to the mound in a scenario he never would have thought himself in just a few weeks ago when he was taking the mound as a starter in Australia. Stunningly retiring the side in order, Cahill picked up his first Major League save of his career. Outside of Reed’s solo home run to Uribe, the bullpen contributed was lights out for six innings. I guess things do get weird at night in Hollywood.
Back at it on Saturday with the bizarre start time of 5:10 P.M. to appeal to Fox Sports conglomerates, Mike Bolsinger takes the mound against Dan Haren. With the bats having gone ice cold over the past few games, Bolsinger must hope they can arise against Haren, a solid, but not unhittable pitcher.