Aug. 12, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton (not pictured) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Baltimore Orioles at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There is always a first for everything. On Monday night in Arizona, Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton not only slugged his first home run of the season, but the first walk-off homer of his young career. With the game knotted at six heading into the bottom of the ninth, the 24-year-old ripped the first pitch he saw over the wall in right-center field giving the D-Backs an exciting 7-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
While the Snakes emerged victorious in the thriller, it should have never came down to Eaton’s heroics. Arizona had a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth, yet newly acquired relief pitcher Joe Thatcher allowed the O’s to tie the score off of a home run by Chris Davis. The D-Backs, however, once again took the lead on a solo shot off the bat of Wil Nieves, the first home run of the season for him as well.
Aug. 12, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley throws in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler took the mound in the top of the ninth to close out the back-and-forth contest. Ziegler, who had not let up a run since July 2, blew the save and allowed Baltimore to tie the game off Nick Markakis‘s sacrifice fly. That paved the way for Eaton, whose homer landed in the pool pavilion at Chase Field.
While he did not factor into the decision, Wade Miley had another solid outing for Arizona. He worked seven innings, allowing four runs off of seven hits, striking out three in the process. Darren O’Day suffered the loss for the Orioles.
The Diamondbacks managed to stay 7.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West. The Dodgers have won 21 out of their last 24 games. The D-Backs are 5.5 games back of the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild-card spot, which now seems like the only chance for a playoff berth.
The two teams will be back at it again on Wednesday night. Check out the Venom Strikes Series Preview here.