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Arizona Diamondbacks – Castillo gets walk-off RBI

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Welington Castillo (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
Welington Castillo (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
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Over the final four innings, bullpen of the Arizona Diamondbacks held the Brewers scoreless

For most of this season, the bullpen of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been less than productive. Collectively with one of the highest ERAs in major league baseball, the norm has been the unreliability of relievers.

Entering close games, the bullpen has given up runs at an alarming rate, and caused competitive contests to rapidly spin out of control. On Friday night at home against Milwaukee, the bullpen did a turn-around, and gave the Arizona Diamondbacks not only the opportunity to remain competitive, but actually a chance to win.

Though the end result was walk-off walk by Welington Castillo with one out and the bases loaded in the 11th inning that gave the Arizona Diamondbacks a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers before 20,008 in Chase Field, the bullpen of Steve Hathaway, Randall Delgado, Enrique Burgos, Jake Barrett, Daniel Hudson and Adam Loewen shut out the Brewers over the last four innings. Of the key contributors, Hudson drew the most praise.

Struggling over the past several weeks, the right-hander came in the 10th and after getting the first batter, Hudson surrendered a double to Scooter Gennett and intentionally walked Ryan Braun. With runners on first and second and that one out, this is usually the scenario which Hudson falters. Instead, he reached back and struck out both Hernan Perez and Chris Carter to end the threat. With the way things have been going for Hudson of late, this was an inning he truly needed.

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“This was a huge step (for Hudson),” said manager Chip Hale afterward. “This is where you can build on success, and his teammates were really excited for him.”

Starter Braden Shipley turned in his second, straight quality start, and carried a one run into the seventh. That’s when pinch hitter Keon Braxton, a third round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, took Shipley over the center field fence to lead off the inning, and the blast tied the score. For his effort, Shipley provided the Arizona Diamondbacks with a solid effort, and prompted Hale to remark, “if he gives us six innings and two runs every time out, I’ll take that.”

Holding a 2-1 lead in the seventh, Shipley surrendered that game-tying homer to Braxton, and admitted Braxton was able to connect on a change-up.

“I didn’t have my best stuff in this game,” Shipley admitted. “I just want to throw zeros in each inning, that’s my goal. On the homer, I’ve faced Braxton many times before, and the change was not a very good pitch. He got it all.”

Left-fielder Yasmany Tomas staked the Arizona Diamondbacks to that 2-1 lead on a pair of homers, one with one out in the second and the other with one out in the fourth. That represents the sixth, multi-home run game this season for Tomas, and best in the major leagues. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo has five multi-home run games this season.

“I’m getting extension on my swing, and that’s help to get more power,” Tomas said through coach and interpreter Ariel Prieto. “Plus, I’m making good pitch selections, and trying to be consistent.”

In the 11th, Paul Goldschmidt led-off with a single and Jake Lamb slashed a single to center. After David Peralta reached base on an error by shortstop Orlando Arcia to load the bases, Castillo walked on a 3-1 count from Brewers’ reliever Blaine Boyer. The walk-off RBI was the second career walk-off for Castillo, the Arizona catcher. The other came as a member of the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 23, 2014 against the St Louis Cardinals.

On deck

The Brewers’ series continues Saturday at 5:10 p.m. Look for lefty Patrick Corbin (4-10, 5.30), and seeking his first win at home this season, to take on right-hander Matt Garza (2-4, 5.32). For the series and home stand finale Sunday at 1:10 p.m., it’s right-hander Archie Bradley (4-7, 4.75) opposing righty Jimmy Nelson (6-10, 5.32).

Next: Pollock returns to game action

Then, it’s off to the east coast for a six-game road trip. This includes three with the Mets at Citi Field in New York, and three with the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.

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