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Snake Bytes 5/6: Sugar Skull Sweet Walk-off

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With a win today the Diamondbacks will still have not “lost” a series this season.

MLB: Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks 4, Astros 3

[D’backs.com] Pollock answers Astros’ rally with walk-off knock - This contest was entirely closer than it should have been. Astros’ starter Charlie Morton walked four batters in the 1st inning, including the first three, and required 35 pitches to end the frame. However, the Diamondbacks managed to score only a single run in the inning failing to even tally a hit. David Peralta had a solo pool shot in the 2nd to give the D’backs their first hit, and second run, of the game. Arizona held a 2-0 lead until the 5th when both teams added a run. Yoshi Hirano allowed the Astros to tie the game at 3 in the 8th, setting the stage for a bases loaded walk-off single from A.J. Pollock.

“We build innings, we’re putting ourselves in a very good position to score some runs,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “It’s just unfortunate we can’t get that big hit, the big KO. Our guys are working, they’re following the process, and unfortunately, we can’t flatline a starting pitcher.”

[Arizona Sports] A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks walk off Houston Astros - Zack Greinke gave Arizona a strong 5 & 23 innings to help end a three game losing streak. He surrendered another home run, albeit only a solo shot to George Springer, striking out 5 and allowing 2 walks. Greinke lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 4.10 in the process. Pollock saved Greinke from allowing two runs to score with an impressive catch at the wall in the 3rd with only one out.

[AZ Central] A.J. Pollock delivers for the Diamondbacks with game-winning hit against Astros - Having already recorded four outs in the game, Archie Bradley was watching the 9th inning unfold from the dugout next to roommate Jake Lamb. David Peralta was called out on strikes on a check swing appeal, and the high intensity reliever was understandably upset with the call made by third base umpire Dan Iassogna. Iassogna did not want to put up with the sideline complaints from the bearded one and promptly ejected him from the game without warning.

“Just passion for the game, man,” Bradley said afterward. “When I throw my inning, I like to come back out and watch the rest of the game. I like to be a part of it. I just got fired up. Emotions got the best of me and it’s just part of the game.”

Diamondbacks News

[The Athletic] Project 34: Cory Hahn is in the big leagues, though not in the way he once expected - Cory Hahn was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft with the team understanding that he would never take the field as a player. Once a teammate of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado on team USA-18, the star center fielder suffered a spinal injury when sliding head first into second in only his third game as a freshman at Arizona State. His relationship with the late Kevin Towers saw him accept a role with the Diamondbacks front office. Hahn has now weathered two regime changes up top en route to becoming coordinator of pro scouting with the team.

[AZ Central] Where will Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings get playing time? - It will become increasingly difficult to find playing time for Chris Owings as Steven Souza Jr. and Jake Lamb return from injury. The organization’s emphasis on elite defense has resulted in Nick Ahmed earning the bulk of the playing time at shortstop, and a substantial financial investment in Ketel Marte has demonstrated Arizona’s faith in him as the every day starter at second base. Torey Lovullo proved last season that he prefers to give his players adequate rest, so having players like Owings, Daniel Descalso, and Deven Marrero allows him the flexibility to rotate players as he sees fit.

“He’s a good player,” Lovullo said. “Chris Owings is a very, very good player. He‘s a valuable piece to this puzzle. His role has changed a little bit this year, and I know that in my conversations with him, he’s prepared for it.”

[D’backs.com] D-backs call up Shipley, send down Medlen - Braden Shipley returns to the Major League club once again. With the team already down two starting pitchers due to injury, Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, and no viable option knocking on the door to fill the second of those two spots, Shipley is possibly in line to fill the gap. Mike Hazen also went out and obtained Clay Buchholz on a minor league deal to provide additional rotation depth, a player he is familiar with from his days in Boston.

“I was just thrilled,” Shipley said before Saturday’s game against the Astros. “Called my wife and she was crying because she was so happy. It’s been tough because she’s been [in Phoenix] all year, whereas in years past, she’s been with me all year.”

Around the League

[CBS Sports] Mexico and Montreal are possible expansion locations as MLB commissioner ‘would like to get to 32’ teams - MLB commissioner Rob Manfred continues to express that he wants the league to expand to 32 teams eventually. An expansion will not take place until the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have their stadium situations resolved. Cities that have already been mentioned as possible expansion sites include Mexico City, Montreal, Portland, and Charlotte.

[Cut4] It happened! The bullpen cart was finally used in a regular season game - Astros reliever Collin McHugh, for the time being, saved the Diamondbacks’ bullpen cart from a near certain death at a local salvage yard. Nearly a quarter way through the season he became the first pitcher to use the bullpen cart this season when he did so last night.

[Sporting News] Yadier Molina leaves game after taking foul ball off 102-mph heater off groin area - Uhhhhhhh... perhaps the usage of “m’fer” with Yadier Molina behind the plate yesterday was justified. Residents in Chandler reported hearing his high pitch squeal all the way from Busch Stadium after Molina was drilled in the family jewels by a 102 MPH foul ball on Saturday.