The Cincinnati Reds will try to split their four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Phoenix on Sunday after winning a wild 11-inning game that featured dramatic rallies for both teams on Saturday.
Cincinnati trailed 4-0 after the fifth inning and was down 4-2 in the ninth with Arizona closer Paul Sewald on the mound. The Reds rallied to tie the game and then scored three runs in the 10th inning.
After the Diamondbacks responded with three runs to tie the score at 7 in the 10th, Cincinnati answered with the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th.
Cincinnati scored that run on a balk, adding to the strange developments in its 8-7 win.
“We’re going to fight for every inch, and we know they are, too,” said TJ Friedl, who scored on the balk by Nabil Crismatt with two outs. “That’s just the game we’re playing right now. We’re trying to scratch runs together any way we can and they are, too. That’s a huge, huge win for us.”
Lucas Simas restored order to the game by retiring the three batters he faced, two by strikeouts, in the bottom of the 11th to earn his third save.
The Reds lead the majors with 41 come-from-behind victories and are 4-2 in their 10-game West Coast swing.
“We were just talking about (Saturday’s game) as a team; we can’t ever remember all that what happened,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “All we know is it was a tough win. It was not perfect. A lot of things happened and you just stay with it.
“You keep grinding it out. You stay together. Good things will happen.”
It was the 26th loss in relief for the Diamondbacks this season.
“This is just another one of those challenges that we have to overcome, and this team has proven it can handle challenges,” said Arizona manager Torey Lovullo, whose team had its six-game winning streak snapped.
“We could have given up after they scored three runs in the top of the 10th, but our guys are resilient. We’re not going to let this loss affect us at all. As a matter of fact, we’ll come out hungrier (Sunday).”
The evening was not entirely a loss for the Diamondbacks. Zach Davies returned from the injured list and worked five-plus solid innings, allowing just one run. Also, Ketel Marte hit a three-run homer — his 100th with the Diamondbacks — and Corbin Carroll doubled and tripled on the night of his first big-league bobblehead doll giveaway promotion.
Two right-handed starters will face each other Sunday — Cincinnati’s Graham Ashcraft (7-8, 4.84 ERA) and Arizona’s Slade Cecconi (0-0, 2.93).
Ashcraft, in his second season in the major leagues, won his only start against the Diamondbacks last year when the teams met in Cincinnati. He gave up no runs and three hits in six innings and struck out four while not allowing a walk.
Cecconi, a rookie, will face the Reds for the first time.
—Field Level Media
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