It took less than 24 hours for the boo-birds to become yay-birds for Justin Upton. His long three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning powered the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 14-10 win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field.
Yes, the score was 14-10. Like the Steelers playing the Ravens in NFL action.
Baseballs were flying out of the yard, as the D-backs connected for five out-of-the-park bombs and one inside-the-park job. They had hit five homers by the end of the fifth inning. The biggest fly of all was Upton's shot off Mariners starter Jason Vargas, only a day after Upton had heard boos from the home crowd for failing to produce in the clutch, also in the fifth inning of Tuesday's game.
Upton talks about it in postgame comments here, though it's kind of hard to hear. Basically he said he had to give fans something to cheer about after they booed him. Upton went 2-for-4 Wednesday and scored twice to raise his average to .258.
Upton was replaced after six innings, dealing with calf cramps, manager Kirk Gibson said.
"You are happy for something like that (the home run) to happen," Gibson said. "We need to get him back on track... We need him to be that guy, and he's capable of being that guy."
It's hard to lose a game in which you hit six home runs, and the Diamondbacks made sure they didn't. They plated five runs in the fifth, breaking open a tie game despite the struggles of starting pitcher Trevor Cahill.
Aaron Hill, the hottest hitter on the Diamondbacks at present, hit the first home run, a solo shot off Vargas with one out in the bottom of the first. Another hot hitter, Jason Kubel, went deep later in the inning to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.
Kubel has 18 RBI in June alone, which put him at the top of the league for the month, at least for the time being. Kubel is also 40-for-113 this season at Chase Field, a .354 average.
Hill, with two hits Wednesday, hit a home run on the seventh anniversary of his first major-league home run, and has hit safely in 13 straight home games. In those 13 games, he is 27-for-48 (.563) with 15 extra-base hits and 14 RBI.
The Mariners, collectively an aggressive-approach team as hitters, tagged Cahill for five runs in the third to take the lead. Cahill had a 2.94 earned-run average in his career against Seattle coming into the game, but five straight hits, including a two-run double by Casper Wells and a two-run home run by Kyle Seager, produced a big inning for Seattle.
The Diamondbacks struck for three runs to tie it at 5 in the fourth, Miguel Montero and John McDonald going deep. Then came the fifth, as Upton's blast was just part of a big inning. Ryan Roberts and McDonald drove in runs to make it 8-5, and there was still more offense in store.
Roberts hit his first career inside-the-park home run in the seventh, speeding around the bases as his opposite-field drive took a bounce off the corner wall and rolled far away from the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki.
Roberts got a curtain call. The six home runs tied a Diamondbacks franchise record set twice previously.
"It's something in baseball that I never thought I would do," Roberts said. "I was relieved I was safe."