Given high scoring capability, the offense of the Arizona Diamondbacks is capable of striking at any time.
Before Friday night’s game, manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks told Venom Strikes that he is proud of his team’s resiliency. Over the opening three weeks of the season, the Diamondbacks have demonstrated the ability to bounce back and display the kind of attitude reserved for winners. That theory was tested in this game against division-rival the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After L. A. shortstop Corey Seager reached Arizona starter Taijuan Walker for a two-run homer in the opening inning, the Diamondbacks played, as Lovullo calls, “uphill baseball.” When Jake Lamb’s two-run single produced a one-run lead in the fifth, that theory of resiliency was challenged. That’s when the Dodgers responded with the tying run in the sixth and then pinch hitter Chris Taylor’s first career pinch homer run an inning later powered L. A. into the lead.
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Then, a Diamondbacks avalanche.
Supported by a club-tying nine runs in the eighth inning, Arizona pushed back and gained a 13-5 victory over the Dodgers before 27,018 in Chase Field. The win elevated the Diamondbacks’ home mark to 7-1 on the season and that equals a franchise achievement set in 2008.
As good teams usually do, the Diamondbacks took advantage of mistakes. In this case, Dodger pitchers issued five walks and a balk in the eighth to power the win. Afterward, Lovullo told Venom Strikes this victory on the field was a much a victory in the dugout.
"There was a great deal of excitement on the bench and good baseball conversation. This is becoming a team which believes it can win any game at any facility. (Against the Dodgers), this was a game of perseverance. In how this game developed, the players could have packed up our tent and went home."
Instead, the Diamondbacks battled back from two deficits to increase their season record to 11-7.
After Seager’s first inning blast, A. J. Pollock lead off the game for Arizona with his first career, lead-off homer. That followed with a single run in the third and Lamb’s two-run single in the fifth. Then, the 14-batter, eighth inning and the club-tying nine run frame. That was the sixth time in franchise history the Diamondbacks scored nine in one inning. The last time was April 26, 2016, in the sixth inning, against the St Louis Cardinals.
With that eighth inning explosive, the Diamondbacks continue to show their striking power. That did not escape Walker’s attention, who told Venom Strikes that starters now enjoy a certain comfort level
"If know if we keep a team close, we’ll have a chance to win. This team scores and is explosive. If we can hold the other team to three runs or less, we’re confident about the outcome."
The Dodgers’ series continues Saturday at 5:10 (PDT). Look for lefty Robbie Ray (1-0, 1.96 ERA) to oppose righty Kenta Maeda (1-1, 7.07). In the series finale Sunday afternoon, it’s righty Shelby Miller (2-1, 3.50) taking on former Diamondback Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 2.12).
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Then, the San Diego Padres move in for four night games and followed, next weekend, by a three-game set against division rival Colorado Rockies.