The Arizona Diamondbacks are indeed on a roll. They won their season-high, fifth-straight game and are back at .500 (30-30) for the first time since May 5th. It wasn't a dominating win like the last two, but LHP Joe Saunders was solid through six innings and the offense did enough to get it done.
The D-backs struck first and early with a three-run first inning that featured a pair of one-out hits from Chris Young and Justin Upton, a walk from Paul Goldschmidt, and then an RBI from Jason Kubel on a ball hit to the second baseman, Jemile Weeks. Weeks fielded the ball cleanly, but shortstop Chad Pennington rushed the play to try and turn two and ended up with an error and no outs. Young scored on the play. With the bases still loaded and one out in the inning, Aaron Hill lined a single to left that plated Upton and Goldschmidt.
The D-backs have now scored 16 of their last 18 run off two-out hits.
The play of the game, however, goes to Young for heads up base running in the fifth frame that put him in position to score the game-winning fourth run.Young was on first with one out when Goldschmidt drove a ball to wall in deep right center. Young read the way Collin Cowgill was drifting away and was able to tag and advance to second. Jason Kubel drove him with (another) two-out hit.
"In general, you're not going to tag up on that play but he recognized what was going on and surprised Cowgill a little bit right there and got to second," Kirk Gibson said. "It was very alert. Good baseball."
The A's got to Saunders for two runs in the fourth with a pair of doubles from Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge. Josh Donaldson then hit a single to left field. Jason Kubel's throw to the plate was in time, but Henry Blanco couldn't secure the ball on the tag. Blanco was charged with the error (a tough call) and Inge scored the A's second run.
Saunder's line was certainly good enough to earn the win. He went scattered seven hits over six innings with just two walks and five strike outs. The lefty was charged with one earned run, dropping his season ERA to 3.48.
Bryan Shaw allowed a run in the seventh but David Hernandez struck out the side in the eighth and J.J. Putz got the save (13) to finish the game. Paul Goldschmidt extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 with a single in the third. He stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch but was left stranded.
The D-backs are off Monday and then start a series in Texas against the Rangers on Tuesday. Ian Kennedy is scheduled to pitch but might miss his start if his wife goes into labor. Wade Miley would start in place of Kennedy if needed.
For more D-backs, visit AZ Snakepit.