On Friday night, the Oakland Athletics came to town to face Daniel Hudson coming off a series win against the Texas Rangers. They banged out a season high 16 hits and knocked out Hudson in the second inning, but the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled out some 2011 magic, rallying from down 6-0 to win 9-8 on a three-run walkoff homer by Ryan Roberts.
Hudson struggled early. After giving up a single hit in the first inning, he allowed seven Oakland hits for six runs. He was pulled after Oakland batted around. Brandon Inge led off the inning with a single, Kurt Suzuki singled, Pennington doubled in one, pitcher Tommy Milone singled home two, Coco Crisp doubled home Milone, Josh Reddick singled him home, Seth Smith singled, Hudson was pulled and then Inge drove in the final run of the inning with a single off Josh Collmenter.
Arizona got three back in the bottom of the inning, but it could have been at least one more. Aaron Hill hit what appeared to be a homer, only to have Seth Smith reach over the bullpen fence to make the catch. A double by Ryan Roberts and a single by Willie Bloomquist got Arizona on the board. Jason Kubel then homered to cut the lead in half.
Collmenter restored order and didn't allow another run. He went three and a third scoreless innings with six strikeouts. Before the game, Kirk Gibson said that Collmenter "is made perfect" for the bullpen. "He's got the great makeup for it." After struggling mightily as a starter to start the season, Collmenter has begun to pitch in relief much like Wade Miley did before taking Collmenter's spot in the rotation. On Friday, Collmenter was key. "He cut it off," said Gibson of his performance.
Arizona added a run in the fifth when Paul Goldschmidt homered. He had already singled earlier in the game, which extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
However, when Craig Breslow came in to relieve Collmenter, he gave up a two-run shot to Seth Smith, who earlier had taken a homer away from Aaron Hill.
In the bottom of the sixth, Arizona rallied and scored two runs. With two outs, Bloomquist singled, Kubel doubled him home for his third RBI of the game and then Justin Upton drove him in with a single.
In the ninth, with two outs, Chris Young walked and Aaron Hill singled. It was a tough luck night for Hill, who had a homer taken away and two near homers, but his hit in the ninth set the stage for Roberts' heroics.
With a 2-1 count, Roberts hit a Brian Fuentes sinker into the left-centerfield seats to end the game and give Arizona the win.
"It was a good team win," said Gibson. "We've talked a lot about it in trying to affirm what we need to do as a team, not individually. We just hung in there and we virtually used our whole team tonight."
After the game, Hudson said that when the offense got three runs following the six runs he gave up, he "had a feeling that we were going to come back and make this a game, and that's exactly what we did tonight."
Roberts, who hit a walkoff grand slam last September to beat the Dodgers, said that the feeling with both hits was "all the same," but called the feeling as "undescribable" and "awesome."
He was "just trying to get a pitch the whole at-bat" and "was just trying not to be the last out." In that, he was successful.
Over the last three games, the offense has banged out 25 runs. After struggling offensively as a team early in the season, they are finally seeing some success. "It's just how it goes in baseball," said Roberts. "Our time's coming. We might have started off slow, and that's just how it's supposed to be right now. So, it's testing our team."
J.J. Putz picked up the win with his scoreless ninth inning and is 1-3. Fuentes blew his third save and took his second loss of the year.
The two teams play again Saturday night at 7:10 PM and will feature two starters that were traded for one another -- Jarrod Parker for Oakland and Trevor Cahill for Arizona.
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