Archie Bradley turned his fourth quality start in his last six for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Brandon Drury’s walk-off single in the 12th inning provided the game-winner
This was the kind of game the Arizona Diamondbacks desperately needed. Either the pitching was proficient on a given day and the hitting was not productive. The hitting, upon another occasion, was lethal, but the pitching could not keep the Arizona Diamondbacks in the game. For one night in the middle of the season, things came together and Brandon Drury’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 12th inning provided the Arizona Diamondbacks with a dramatic, 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers before 38,899 in Chase Field Saturday.
While Jake Lamb tied the game with two-out double in the bottom of the ninth and set the table with a lead-off triple in the 12th, the night was shared with righty Archie Bradley, the Arizona Diamondbacks starter.
The hope these days is that any starter for the Arizona Diamondbacks can pitch deep into games. In the quest for victories, that’s the goal of all starters, but in the case of the Arizona Diamondbacks, there is a particular sense of urgency.
That’s because the bullpen, for most of the season, has been less than stellar. Of the middle relievers currently on the roster, the lowest ERA belongs to Randall Delgado at 4.27. Given the marginal production at best, the effort of Bradley became that much more critical.
With a commuter ticket between Triple-A Reno and Chase Field earlier this season, Bradley is nearly a microcosm of the pitching staff. At the start of the year, Bradley, by his own admission, was inconsistent, but progress, over his last two starts, is duly noted. With three quality starts in his last five, Bradley gave the Arizona Diamondbacks innings needed and lasted through six innings on Saturday. Surrendering but one run, Bradley pitched out of several jams and the effort, Arizona Diamondbacks officials hope, can be the poster child for starters going forward.
“No, I’m not worried about walks any longer, and the goal is to make hitters hit my pitches,” he said afterward. “Right now, I feel I’m under control and making quality pitches.”
The Dodgers reached Bradley for the only tally he surrendered in the third. A lead-off double from Chase Utley and RBI single from Justin Turner produced the sole blemish to an otherwise stellar effort from Bradley.
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During the course of his six innings, Bradley pitched out of jams in nearly every inning. Though he failed to retire the Dodgers in order during any inning, Bradley was able to leave two runners stranded in second, fourth, and sixth as well as single runners in the first and fifth. For the game, the Dodgers left 15 on base, and that’s one less than their season high of 16 against Baltimore on July 6.
“(Bradley) was able to control the zone,” said manager Chip Hale. “He’s been our most consistent pitcher of late and it started in San Francisco.”
That was the final game before the All-Star break for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and though they lost to Madison Bumgarner’s one-hitter, Bradley allowed only two runs in the seven innings he worked on July 10.
If Bradley kept the Diamondbacks in this one, Drury’s walk-off provided the margin of victory. After Lamb tripled into the right field corner to start the 12th, Welington Castillo and Yasmany Tomas were each intentionally walked. With the Dodgers’ defense employing five infielders, Drury laced a single in the hole between first and second for the first walk-off of his major league career.
“I just wanted to stay on top the ball,” he said. “No, I didn’t pay attention to where the infielders were positioned. I’ve been up in situations like this before, and it’s all about a learning experience. For me, it’s the experience in that situation that I can take and grow.”
Then, the Toronto Blue Jays move into Chase Field for a two-game set. Following a day off Monday, the match-ups for Tuesday night at 6:40 has Zack Godley (2-0, 5.28) taking on Jays’ righty Aaron Sanchez (9-1, 2.97). For the Wednesday afternoon finale at 12:40, the Arizona Diamondbacks send lefty Patrick Corbin (4-9, 5.28) to the hill, and he is opposed by righty Marcus Stroman (7-4, 4.89).
The Arizona Diamondbacks then hit the road for a 10-game trip that includes three in Cincinnati, four in Milwaukee and three in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.