With the loss, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the last team in the majors to reach double-digits in defeats at home.
Mark this one on the calendar of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This was the night when one of the most lethal teams in the majors was held to one run and six hits by the team with the worst record in the majors.
Part of the credit goes to Mark Leiter, Jr., starter for the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night in Chase Field. Then again, the Diamondbacks were coming off a 7-1 road trip and dropped 26 runs on the Colorado Rockies’ pitching over the final two games of their recent three-game set.
With a deceptive curve ball and fast ball cutter, Leiter handcuffed the Diamondbacks and allowed only five base runners over the six innings he worked. Shutting down the Diamondbacks on three hits and then turning matters over to the bullpen, Leiter earned his first major league triumph with a 6-1 victory over Arizona before 31,648 Friday night in Chase Field.
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The win was the second straight for the Phillies, and the first time they gained back-to-back wins since a four-game winning streak from June 3 to June 6. The loss was the first at home for the Diamondbacks since dropping an 8-6 decision to Milwaukee on June 9. Still with a 26-10 record at home, that remains the best in the majors.
The one run scored by Arizona was the lowest in a game since the Diamondbacks dropped a 6-1 decision May 27 in Milwaukee.
Because this team expects to win every night, the defeat was no consolation to Leiter’s strong effort. Manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes that the grind simply continues with the next game.
"“We went against (Leiter) who threw the ball extremely well,” he said. “The loss was only one game. We’ll just flip it and go out tomorrow and execute.”"
Despite six Philadelphia runs, Arizona starter Patrick Corbin clearly pitched well enough to win. After allowing a first inning run, Corbin slammed the door the rest of the way, and left in the seventh inning trailing by that slim 1-0 margin. The effort was Corbin’s first loss at home since April 4 and his fifth quality start at home this season. In seven of his nine starts this season in Chase Field, the native of Clay, N. Y, has allowed three or fewer runs.
Afterward, Luvollo reminded listeners that Corbin has six wins and pointed out, “he’s doing his job.” Given his productivity in Chase Field this season, Corbin told Venom Strikes that success results from a solid routine.
"“I’ll go the bullpen, work on a few things with the coaches and iron some things out,” he said. “The important thing for me is to get back to what you do and the things you do right. When that happens, results will come.”"
Down 2-0 in the eighth, the Diamondbacks cut the margin to 2-1 on a RBI triple from Daniel Descalso. Yet, he was left at third when Jake Lamb struck out to end the frame.
The Phillies then broke this open in the ninth and thanks in part to Phoenix native Tommy Joseph, who slammed a two-run, two-out homer in the swimming pool against left-hander T. J. McFarland.
The Phillies series continues Saturday. Look for lefty Robbie Ray (7-3, 2.87 ERA) to take on righty Ben Lively (1-1, 3.33). On Sunday afternoon, Randall Delgado (1-1, 3.48) opposes former Diamondback Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.81). In the series finale Monday afternoon, Zack Grienke (8-4, 3.14) faces righty Nick Pivetta (1-3, 4.46) for the Fightings.
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Then, the St. Louis Cardinals are in Chase Field for four games and three with the Colorado Rockies conclude the current home stand.