Two homers from J. D. Martinez and an inside-the-park homer from Ketel Marte enabled the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the rubber game from the Atlanta Braves.
Pundits continue to believe that a potent offense will help keep the Arizona Diamondbacks in the race for a spot in post-season play. Yet, their presence in October will likely depend on defense and pitching.
While All-Stars Zack Grienke and Robbie Ray received the majority of headlines this season, the Diamondbacks clearly need a resurgent Patrick Corbin and reliable Taijuan Walker down the stretch. After Corbin dispatched the Atlanta Braves, 10-3 before 25,836 Wednesday afternoon in Chase Field, the win represented only the second time this season Corbin recorded back-to-back wins.
With the victory, the Diamondbacks earned their 11th series win at home this season, and the 17th overall. Their mark in Chase Field rose to 36-18, and that is the second best in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-13). The Diamondbacks are also 27-0 this season when scoring seven or more runs in a game.
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For Corbin, this was only the second time this season he won consecutive starts. The other experience was victories over the Padres and Phillies on June 8 and June 16.
In his previous start July 20 in Cincinnati, Corbin recorded a 12-2 win and the victory over the Braves succeeded by outlasting shortcomings. Corbin experienced only one, 1-2-3 inning, but instead, seem bend but not break.
For the first time this season, Corbin’s pitch count reached over 110 deliveries. After a 113-pitch effort against the Braves, he told Venom Strikes that it’s time to be counted.
"“When you get in tough situations, you have to get locked in,” he said. “You really need to make quality pitches and I was able to do that. You’re right, it was a kind of not breaking out there. Our offense is so good and we were able to come out with a victory.”"
Over his last nine starts, Corbin has not allowed more than three runs in any one outing. Manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes after the game that there is a reason why Corbin raised the level of his game.
"“(Corbin’s) change-up has been much better,” he said. “Now, he is able to throw three quality pitches. Plus, he’s hitting the strike more consistently. When you do that, you put pressure on the hitter.”"
Should Corbin string important victories together, that could give the Diamondbacks a comfort zone. That’s because the offensive capability of this team is hardly in question.
An inside-the-park homer from Ketel Marte in the third and a pair of two-run shots by J. D. Martinez, one to left field and the second to right, powered the scoring. As well, the Diamondbacks’ ability to come back and pick up their pitcher was evident.
After the Braves scored one in the opening inning, Arizona came right back in their half of the frame to tie. That’s when Jake Lamb cracked the 80-RBI mark with a sacrifice fly, and the Diamondbacks were on their way to a 12-hit, 10-run effort.
After his implosion Wednesday night, the Diamondbacks optioned reliever J. J. Hoover to Triple-A Reno.
Coming into a tie game in the seventh, Hoover, in one-third of an inning, gave up a lead-off single to Matt Adams, Kurt Suzuki then took him over the fence for a two-run homer, he walked pinch-hitter Sean Rodriguez, and gave up a single to Ender Inciarte before lifted.
In 36 appearances this season, Hoover was 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA. That included five home runs, the second highest among relievers. Jorge De La Rosa has given up six homers.
Replacing Hoover on the 25-man roster, the Diamondbacks activated right-hander Rubby De La Rosa from a rehab assignment. In six games at the major league level this season, De La Rosa is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
In Wednesday’s game, De La Rosa entered the game in the ninth inning, allowed a single to Freddie Freeman, and retired three of the four hitters faced.
The Diamondbacks flew out immediately after the game and open a four-game series in St. Louis Thursday night.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Martinez transitioning to new team, new league"
In the opener, righty Zack Godley (3-4, 3.32) will start for Arizona and Cardinals’ skipper Mike Matheny is undecided. On Friday night, Robbie Ray (9-5, 3.15) faces righty Michael Wacha (7-4, 3.93). On Saturday, it’s Zack Greinke (12-4, 2.92) going against Mike Leake (7-8, 3.20), and in the Sunday series finale, look for Taijuan Walker (6-4, 3.47) to face right-hander Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.21).
Then, it’s on to Wrigley Field and three with the Cubs. The trip concludes with three against Giants at AT&T Park.