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D-backs Eke Out Win Over Marlins Despite Big Lead

The Arizona Diamondbacks hit hot all game, going up 9-0 midway through the third inning and leading 12-3 midway through the fourth. Miguel Montero had two doubles in the first three innings that were good for five RBIs, Justin Upton added two RBIs of his own, and Zach Duke drove in two runs with a homer in the top of the third. Everything seemed to be going Arizona's way. 

Then Duke forgot how to pitch. Though he had been hit pretty much all game, his undoing came in innings three through five, when he gave up three, one, and three runs, respectively, before being relieved by Micah Owings with two on and two out in the bottom of the fifth.

Owings pitched two and a third innings of scoreless ball that seemed to get things back under control for the D-backs. But Bryan Shaw took the mound for Arizona in the eighth and promptly allowed two Marlins to get on base with a single and a walk. Joe Paterson came in and filled the bases by walking the pinch-hitting Greg Dobbs. Paterson was then relieved by Esmerling Vasquez, who completed the trinity of bullpen futility by allowing a single that scored two runs for the Marlins.

In a game that should have been a blowout closed out by the rarely used inhabitants of the bullpen, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was forced to turn to closer J.J. Putz to ensure a save in what was a close 12-9 game in the bottom of the ninth. 

It was a game that should have never been as nerve-wracking as it was, and though Gibson is likely to point to the team's offensive production as a positive, allowing a downtrodden team like the Marlins to score six unanswered runs had to have been frustrating, particularly considering the short time off before opening their homestand against the narrowly division-leading San Francisco Giants on Tuesday evening.