The Diamondbacks didn't wait long for their offense to start up tonight. A one out double from Martin Prado was followed by a HBP for Paul Goldschmidt. A strikeout of Eric Chavez followed, and then Aaron Hill hit a ground ball that might have ended the inning, but a high hop and some good hustle from Hill meant he charged down the line and just beat the throw. Cody Ross slapped a single to left field to bring in two runs, and Arizona had a quick 2-0 lead before Tampa even made it to the plate.
That would have been enough for Wade Miley on the night. He sent Tampa down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, with swinging Ks by Evan Longoria and Wil Myers. The Rays didn't have much more help in the second, only getting a runner from a one out walk before he was stranded with another swinging strike out (former Diamondback Ryan Roberts this time) and a long, loud out to the warning track.
And that wasn't all the Diamondbacks were going to put up on the day. A one-out walk in the third gave Goldy another free trip to the bases, and another run, when Eric Chavez hammered a pitch to deep right field for his ninth home run of the season for a 4-0 lead.
Tampa threatened to score in the fourth inning. A one out single from Myers was followed up by a double Ben Zobrist to put runners on second and third. But they couldn't take advantage of it. A fly ball from Sean Rodriguez wasn't deep enough to score a run for the Rays, and another swinging K from Ryan Roberts ended the threat.
The top of the fifth inning called the end of Jeremy Hellickson's night after a one-out walk, being pulled for Alex Torres, though Torres did at least keep the Diamondbacks offense quiet for a little while, only allowing a single in the fifth before a 1-2-3 sixth. Tampa was still struggling against Miley, though, only finding a little success while Miley struggled against himself. Back to back walks in the sixth inning gave Tampa two runners with only one out, but Miley got a line out and a K to escape the inning.
The top of the seventh brought Kyle Farnsworth in to replace Torres for Tampa, and his appearance was a little less than successful for the Rays, giving up back to back singles to the only two batters he faced. Farnsworth was replaced by Jake McGee, who gave up a single to Eric Chavez, bringing Prado in to score to bump the lead to 5-0. He got a foul out from Prado before getting replaced by Jamey Wright. Wright got Cody Ross to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The bottom of the seventh brought more struggles for Miley, giving up a walk, a batter reaching on an error by Martin Prado, and then another walk. That ended Wade's night, with the bases loaded, and immersed us in the Heath Bell Experience. The Good Heath Bell came out of the bullpen today, striking out Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria back to back and stranding the bases loaded.
A.J. Pollock led off the eighth inning with a single, and then stole second. After Wil Nieves struck out looking, Pollock swiped third base, too. A two out single from Gerardo Parra brought Pollock in to score easily, and the Diamondbacks took a 6-0 lead. That was padded to 7-0 on a lead off home run from Paul Goldschmidt to start the ninth inning, and a 1-2-3 inning from J.J. Putz send the Rays down in defeat as Arizona split the series.
Awesome: Cody Ross (+18.4%)
Pretty Cool: Wade Miley (+15.8%), Eric Chavez (+11.4%)
Not Great: A.J. Pollock (-4.2%)
preston.salisbury led the comment race for the day, with TolkienBard and Clefo trailing a little bit. Also stopping by were AJV19, AzRattler, Dutchfan, FatBoysEatMeat, GuruB, Husk, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, John Baragona, Paper Clip, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, asteroid, azshadowwalker, coldblueAZ, cole8865, dbrowell, hotclaws, kishi, onedotfive, piratedan7, rd33, snakecharmer, soco, and xmet. I'll give Clefo Comment of the Day for his correct rankings, when someone said they try not to listen to Gonzo:
The Dodgers are in an over-priced, over-hyped struggle with the Yankees right now, tied 0-0 in the bottom of the sixth, so we can at least cheer for the Ya... for the Yannn,... for New Yyyyyy... We can at least cheer for the Dodgers to lose.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks will head west for a one day stop in Texas to face off against the Rangers in a makeup game before turning back towards Boston for a series. So tune in tomorrow! Or do something else, I'm not your mom or anything.