The Arizona Diamondbacks called up their top non-pitching prospect from the minor leagues, Adam Eaton, on Tuesday, which, to many, signified the team waving the white flag. It also marked the third straight game where the Diamondbacks had a mini-meltdown of sorts, but this time, the team went on to beat the Giants at AT&T Park, 8-6.
To start the game, Aaron Hill doubled down the left field line, but was unable to get home with just one out. It looked like the beginning of another offensive meltdown for Arizona, but the team was able to gather itself later in the game.
The Giants' scoring spree continued from Monday afternoon, starting once again in the bottom of the first. Pablo Sandoval knocked Marco Scutaro home after he was able to advance to third base off his fourth triple of the year. The Diamondbacks were in the hole early, but recovered when Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy doubled to send rookie Ryan Wheeler across the plate, tying the game at one.
Arizona broke the tie in the third on a Paul Goldschmidt double, pushing Hill home and making the score 2-1. Later in the inning, with the bases juiced, Wheeler was up to bat yet again, but broke his lumber and recorded an infield flyout. John McDonald then proceeded to hit a dribbler through the right side of the infield, making the score 4-1.
But we've been down this three run lead before...
Scutaro had Ian Kennedy's number all night. That was especially evident after his second extra base hit, a double that would lead to an RBI and leave the Giants down by just two runs.
Speaking of having people's numbers, Aaron Hill was all over Ryan Vogelsong (and every other pitcher, for that matter). His two run bomb to left field in the fourth inning put Arizona up 6-2 and knocked Vogelsong out of the game. This gave Arizona some breathing room, but when you give a team like the Giants an inch, they always seem to take a mile.
The Giants made their inevitable comeback in the bottom of the sixth after Hunter Pence's double sent Sandoval home and Brandon Belt then hit a ball deep into the cove behind right field, making the score 6-5. It seemed as if the Diamondbacks were ready to concede their third straight heartbreaking loss in the past three days.
With the momentum in their favor, San Francisco had Angel Pagan on third with one out. Sandoval came through again, hitting a single into left field, tying the game at six and depriving Ian Kennedy of his 13th win.
Ian Kennedy pitched fabulously up until the sixth inning, but gave up 3 runs in the frame and was eventually pulled from the game by manager Kirk Gibson. His line read 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.
Hill was fantastic, hitting 5-5 with an intentional walk and just a triple shy of his third cycle in the calendar year. That marks Hill's career high total for hits in a game.
The Diamondbacks had a chance to land a crippling blow on San Francisco in the eighth with the bases loaded once again. However, both Justin Upton and Jason Kubel popped out to end the inning.
Failing to score with RISP put the Diamondbacks in a stranglehold in the bottom of the eighth. Once again, San Francisco managed to get runners on base. With players on first and third, reliever Mike Zagurski walked a player to load the bases, but was then able to record a double play, getting his team to the ninth inning tied at 6.
Neither team was able to capitalize in the ninth inning, sending the game to extra innings. The tenth was equally uneventful, with no score getting put on the board.
In the 11th inning, four hours into the game, Kubel recorded his first hit of the night by hitting a deep triple into right field that scored Hill from first base. At a score of 7-6, Miguel Montero tacked on another run by hitting a blooper into center field. Kubel scored, pushing the proverbial dagger into the Giants.
Ryan Vogelsong, despite being historically good against Arizona over the past couple of seasons, didn't seem to be on his 'A' game tonight. He was already up over 70 pitches in the third inning and ended up lasting 3.1, giving up 6 earned runs. The bullpen managed to come through for him for most of the game, but Javier Lopez, a former Diamondback, ended up registering the loss.
After a couple of letdown losses, it was nice to see the Diamondbacks finally battle back and get a victory. Still, it will be tough for them to get back in the race. But if they can exert the same amount of effort they did in this game, they may still have a chance.