You all know the story by now, the Diamondbacks had been unable to get back to .500 going on 12 times but with a struggling Rangers team starting Matt Harrison, who was making his 1st appearance at the MLB level since undergoing spinal fusion surgery, this was the best opportunity the team has seen.
Things started off well for the Dbacks in the 1st as NIck Ahmed led things off with a bloop single to center. After a balk from Harrison moved Ahmed to 2nd, the Dbacks went down in order with popups from Pollock and Goldy and a grounder to Tomas to end the threat.
For the good guys was Jeremy Hellickson, fresh off a very quality start against the Rockies his last time up. He was up to the task early, getting an easy 1-2-3 inning by getting 2 line-outs and a strikeout.
The 2nd inning was where the Dbacks blew things wide open. After a Welington Castillo fly out to start things off, David Peralta walked and Aaron Hill flew out for the 2nd out. But the light switch went off and everyone started hitting: Jake Lamb with a grounder to right for a single, Cliff Pennington lined a single down to left to score Peralta, Ahmed blooped a single to left to score Lamb and the NL All-Star A.J Pollock hit a 3-run homer to give the Dbacks an early 5-0 lead.
Hellickson danced around trouble in the 2nd. He surrendered a leadoff single and walk to Beltre and Hamilton respectfully before getting Mitch Moreland to ground into a double play ball and Andrus to line out to Pollock to end the threat.
The 3rd was uneventful for the Dbacks as a leadoff walk was erased by a Castillo double play. Peralta then grounded out to retire the side.
Things started unraveling for Hellickson in the 3rd as his command started to falter. Rougned Odor singled and Robinson Chirinos doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with zero outs. Hellickson came back to retire the next two on weak grounders, scoring only one to make the score 5-1 and a chance to escape further damage but Fielder singled opposite of the shift to score another run and make things interesting at 5-2. Beltre "doubled" to Tomas in right field who clanked it off his glove as he attempted a slide catch. With Hamilton up and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Hellickson worked the count full before striking him out to end the inning.
The offense kept quiet after the 5-run 2nd with another hapless inning despite a leadoff walk from Aaron Hill as Lamb, Pennington and Ahmed flew out to end inning.
Another inning, another jam for Hellickson as a new threat started to surface. Moreland singled to lead things off and Andrus walked to give the Rangers two baserunners and no outs. Odor grounded to Pennington at 2nd and instead of turning and throwing, decided to flip it Ahmed despite being a good 20 feet away from the bag. This caused Nick to come off the bag to field the throw and after a successful challenge from the Rangers, the bases were loaded. The TV broadcast showed Jeremy fidgeting with his hand, indications of a blister starting to form which would account for his sudden poor command. But unfortunately for the Rangers, he would leave the bases loaded with 2 strikeouts and a fly ball.
His start would end there and was probably for the best. He finished with a line of 4 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB’s and 4 K’s. While definitely not as good as his last start, Hellickson kept the Rangers at bay and would have gotten the win if not for the blister.
The Dbacks would add onto their lead in the 5th with more 2-out runs. A.J Pollock singled to lead things off and after 2 quick outs from Goldschmidt and Tomas, Welington Castillo homered to right on a ball that kept on carrying to give the Dbacks a 7-2 lead.
With Hellickson knocked out by injury, the bullpen was tasked with keeping things together and for the most part they did. Chafin, Delgado, Hudson, Perez and Ziegler combined for 5 innings of 2 run ball to clinch the game and a .500 record for the Dbacks.
The Los Angeles Clippers - Nick Ahmed (+15.2%)
DeAndre Jordan - A.J Pollock (+13.1%), Randall Delgado (+10.4%)
Dallas Mavericks - Andrew Chafin (-6.6%)
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30 of you combined for 600+ comments on a historic night in Dbacks history. Comment of the night goes to freeland1787 for encouraging AJ to hit a home run.
With an off-day tomorrow, the Dbacks head for the big apple as they face the Mets and their young powerhouse pitching staff.