Goldy, Greinke give D-backs sole lead in West
PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt (Goldy) picked a most opportune time to rejoin the 30-homer club while helping Zack Greinke (Greinke) back into the win column.
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Goldschmidt's three-run homer capped a five-run third inning to help the D-backs to a 5-2 victory over Seattle at Chase Field on Sunday. The win halted their two-game losing streak and gave Arizona a little bump heading into a seven-game road trip that starts in San Francisco on Monday and concludes with four games at Dodger Stadium.
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Despite the work by Goldschmidt and Greinke, the game was not decided until Brad Boxberger (🎁🍔) got Robinson Cano (Nolo) to ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end the game, one day after the Mariners scored two runs in the ninth and got another in the 10th to snatch a 4-3 victory.
"This is an amazing game, and you can't take anything for granted," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
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"We fumbled a couple of balls out there and that leads to a couple of runs, but when we had to, we made pitches and made plays and won a very tough game. When I tell you today was hard, that was probably an understatement after what we walked through last night."
The D-backs regained sole possession of first place in the NL West after Colorado lost to St. Louis, and the Dodgers remained 2 1/2 games back after finishing a three-game sweep of San Diego on Sunday.
Goldschmidt has four 30-homer seasons, three in the last four years, after setting a career high with 36 homers in 2013. He had 36 last year. His homer on an 0-1 fastball from Mike Leake (Spike) gave Greinke a 5-1 lead after the Mariners scored an unearned run in the first inning.
"Paul is continuing to be Paul," Lovullo said. "That May, you don't even notice May right now. And here we are and getting ready to pay our last month of baseball and he is positioned to have a quality year. He deserves a lot of credit."
After a sluggish start to the season mirrored by the D-backs' 2-13 stretch in May, Goldschmidt has caught fire. He has 25 homers and 63 RBIs in his last 80 games, giving him 30 and 76 for the season.
He has hit safely in 16 of his last 17, with six doubles, six homers and 16 RBIs, and he entered the game hitting .344 since July 1, the second-highest in the NL to teammate David Peralta (Freight Train), who was hitting .348.
But another 30-homer season was not foremost in Goldschmidt's mind afterwards.
"Honestly, it's not something I'm thinking about," Goldschmidt said. "We're obviously here in a playoff race and just trying to find a way and go out and perform and help us win. Even if I don't do that and the team wins, that's most important."
Goldschmidt preferred to point to Greinke (13-8), who gave up an unearned run in the first inning. He allowed five hits and struck out two. He had been winless in his last four starts, during which time the D-backs had scored seven runs when he was on the mound.
"He's been pitching great for us this whole year," Goldschmidt said." When we needed it, we were able to get runs that one inning. We needed all of his zeroes, and he did a great job."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After throwing four straight changeups to Cano with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Boxberger got Cano to ground into a double play started by shortstop Nick Ahmed on a 91 mph fastball to end the game.
"I feel like he was getting a little bit better timing on the changeup from just the way he took a couple of them down and out of the zone," Boxberger said. "Just for anything, to get him off the changeup to go back to it if it was a ball in that situation."
With his strikeout of Cano in the first inning, Greinke passed Dennis Eckersley for 44th on the career strikeout list with 2,407. Luis Tiant is 43rd with 2,416.
Greinke has six starts remaining, and on his current pace would pass Jamie Moyer (2,441) and threaten Andy Pettitte (2,448). Felix Hernandez (2,449) and Sam McDowell (2,453) are next on the list, but Hernandez remains active in Seattle and could up his total. Greinke is on pace for his fourth 200-strikeout season in his last five.
HE SAID IT
"I used it (curveball) a lot. It was a big pitch today. Those righties they have, they hit really good. I don't mind facing lefties if it gets someone as good as Nelson Cruz (Boomstick) out of the lineup." -- Greinke, who threw 20 curveballs, 14 to left-handed hitters, to counter a Seattle lineup that started six left-handed hitters
Patrick Corbin (Corby) (10-4, 3.17 ERA) takes a streak of 11 consecutive starts without allowing a home run into his sixth start of the season against the Giants, his third at AT&T Park. He is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA vs. the Giants in 2018, with 37 strikeouts (and no homers allowed) in 32 2/3 innings. The Giants have yet to announce a starter.