D-backs' 'tough day' ends with walk-off of LA

July 31st, 2021

What proved to be a busy Friday for the D-backs ended with a win as they beat the Dodgers, 6-5, in 10 innings at Chase Field when singled home with the game-winning run.

While the D-backs only made one move on the day of the Trade Deadline, shipping closer Joakim Soria to the Blue Jays for a pair of players to be named later, they made plenty of transactions when five players had to go on the injured list hours before the game due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Backup outfielder Stuart Fairchild and setup man Noé Ramirez tested positive for COVID-19, according to manager Torey Lovullo, while setup man Joe Mantiply, reliever Riley Smith and first baseman Pavin Smith were out as well, a result of contact tracing.

"You know, it was a tough day today," Lovullo said. "In one day, we lost three of our back-end relievers. Under normal circumstances, everybody has roles, so things were totally different, but we slowed the game down enough and we made pitches and we executed and now that's what pleases me the most."

The D-backs’ lineup will get younger as the season goes on and they try to reset their roster going forward. One of the players they are planning to build around is right-hander , and he showed why that is Friday by holding the Dodgers to two runs over six innings, striking out eight and walking one.

"Probably one of his strongest outings of the year," Lovullo said. "For me, it was all off of that fastball command, and I felt like he was in control. He's made of the right stuff and showed us that today."

A pair of D-backs made their big league debuts Friday, with left-hander pitching out of a jam in the seventh and third baseman coming up with a single in a pinch-hit appearance.

But it was Cabrera, a veteran who has seen a lot in his Major League career, who delivered the game-winning hit, a single to left that scored Varsho from second, where he began the 10th as the automatic runner.

"I was looking for a pitch I could hit to left field," Cabrera said. "I was seeing the ball real good today; I walked three times. I was looking to put the ball in play to bring that run in."

Cabrera will be one of the veterans who will help usher in the younger players the rest of the season, and he led by example Friday.

"It was a tough day today," he said. "As soon as you step on the field, though, you have to forget about that and do our job. I think [the young players] do a really good job. I know it’s been a tough year. They always come every day to learn and to play baseball. I think that’s really important."