Record: 61-57. Pace: 84-78. NL West: -7.5
This one certainly felt like a "Who will blink first?" pitchers' duel in the early innings. Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who was 0-2 with an ERA of 8.16 in his last three starts, retired the first 11 Diamondbacks in a row. His perfect game was broken up in the 4th inning by a two-out single from Paul Goldschmidt. Randall Delgado got the second hit off of Gonzalez in the 6th inning. Gonzalez had three strikeouts and walked none, and kept the game moving at a very brisk pace with all the 1-2-3 innings from the Diamondbacks offense.
But Delgado kept pace with Gonzalez as best he could. Delgado faced just one batter over the minimum through the first three innings, and his pitch count was always below that of his counterpart. Unfortunately, it was he who blinked first. In the 4th inning, Delgado gave up a one-out walk to Nick Markakis, followed by a two-out home run to Chris Davis. Davis's major league-leading 44th home run gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead. Tucson native J.J Hardy hit a solo home run to lead off the 5th inning, making it 3-0. Outside of the home runs, Delgado was absolutely solid through seven full innings - five hits, one walk, one strikeout.
The Diamondbacks' offense finally got it going against Gonzalez in the 7th inning. With one out, Aaron Hill laced a triple to the wall in left-center, safe easily when the throw skipped away from both cutoff men. He scored on a groundout from Martin Prado. Gerardo Parra followed that up with a solo home run to right, bringing Arizona to within one run, and making Gonzalez's night seem much less than nearly-perfect.
Eury De La Rosa and Will Harris pitched the 8th and 9th innings, respectively, and they kept any more Orioles from crossing the plate. With a one run lead, Baltimore sent out closer Jim Johnson, who leads the majors with 39 saves. He hadn't allowed a home run since May 20th. Guess what he did tonight? He blew his eighth save of the year, giving up a home run to Paul Goldschmidt to lead off the 9th inning. With one out, Prado and Parra both reached base and stood on third and second, but were stranded, sending the game into extra innings.
Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless 10th inning for Arizona, and Heath Bell a 1-2-3 11th inning. The D'backs' 10th inning started with a leadoff walk from Matt Davidson, but the inning ended when Adam Eaton ground into a double play. Not only was he actually safe, but Eaton wasn't running at full speed all the way down the line, and he could have made that a much easier call for the first base umpire.
No matter. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Paul Goldschmidt was due up first. On the first pitch he saw from reliever T.J. McFarland, Goldy hit his second home run of the night over the right field fence to send the Diamondbacks and their fans home happy on a walk-off homer for the second straight night.
A few interesting Goldy numbers: this was Paul's 3rd career walkoff home run, his 4th career multi-homer game, and his 5th home run in the 9th inning this year (he's hit eight total).
Big Damn Hero: P Goldschmidt, +76.4%
Not Quite As Bad As Reavers: A Eaton, -24.5%
Despite the lack of scoring for most of the game, it was a very busy gameday thread. DC and ish95 were over the century mark for post count. All present were: AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BulldogsNotZags, Clefo, Diamondhacks, FatBoysEatMeat, GuruB, JoeCB1991, Lozenge, The so-called Beautiful, TolkienBard, Zavada's Moustache, asteroid, azshadowwalker, catbat, cheese1213, coldblueAZ, cole8865, hotclaws, imstillhungry95, melliemacker (a friendly visiting fan - welcome!), onedotfive, rd33, romangod, snakecharmer, soco, txzona, and xmet.
No comments turned green tonight, but onedotfive's comment was one we can all get behind:
I hate LA
The universe tends to unfold as it should.
This series against Baltimore concludes tomorrow afternoon at 12:40pm. Tune in on MLB Network!