Home runs power latest victory by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For most of the season, it’s been the starting pitching of the Arizona Diamondbacks which picked up the team. On a night when anointed ace Zack Greinke struggled, the home run ball picked up the titular head of the staff.
Falling behind and eventually struggling with a 102-pitch count in his five innings of work, Greinke was pulled and hopes for the team’s eighth straight home victory fell to the bullpen. When the call went to J. J. Hoover, Andrew Chafin, Archie Bradley, Jorge de La Rosa and Fernando Rodney, the pen responded and helped propel the Diamondbacks to a 7-4 triumph over the visiting San Diego Padres before 22,079 Wednesday night in Chase Field.
The victory increased the Diamondbacks’ home mark to 23-8, and that’s the best in the majors. This stretch also ties for Arizona’s best start at home in their opening 31 games. That was also 23-8 in 1999. The eight consecutive wins at home was established for the first time since July 6 – 24, 2012, and the Diamondbacks are 11-1 in their last 13 contests in Chase Field.
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On a night in which Greinke, their best, was clearly not at his best, that boost was reserved for the lumber. With a three-run bomb from Jake Lamb in the third and a two-run homer from Brandon Drury, also in the third, that firepower created a three-run advantage early. In the process, that overcame a 2-0 San Diego advantage.
The third inning explosion did not surprise Greinke, who picked up his second straight win and his sixth victory in his last eight decisions. The win brought his season mark to 8-3 and the victories tie the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for most wins in the National League. Regarding the offense, Greinke told Venom Strikes he is not surprised by the sudden impact.
"The offense here is pretty darn good. We had that last year when I came here and I’m getting used to that. I was planning for a low scoring game and started out all right."
Yet, things quickly spiraled out of control. Greinke’s pitch count became elevated and concerning to manager Torey Lovullo. After an efficiency of 22 pitches in the first two innings, Greinke began to struggle and by the time his night was finished after five, his reached that count of 112 pitches.
Still, with their ace floundering, the offense took charge. When that happens, Lovullo told Venom Strikes, it’s time to take notice.
"We’re a very opportunistic team. When this team smells blood, they pounce on that. We can tack on runs and that creates a moment for this team. We were able to come to Zack’s side and that’s what good teams do. Everyone contributes, and that how you win games."
The Padres series concludes Thursday afternoon. That’s when lefty Patrick Corbin (4-6, 5.43 ERA) takes on left-hander Clayton Richard (4-6, 5.01).
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The Milwaukee Brewers then move in for a three-game, weekend set. Following the current six-game home stand, the Diamondbacks embark on an eight, three city trip. This includes two in Detroit, three in Philadelphia and three with the Rockies in Denver. The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field on Friday June 23 to start a 10-game home stand.