CINCINNATI -- Three batters into Thursday's game at Great American Ball Park, the D-backs set the tone. After the first two batters reached, Jake Lamb slugged a three-run home run that sent Arizona on its way to a 12-2 victory over the Reds. That claimed two of three games in
CINCINNATI -- Three batters into Thursday's game at Great American Ball Park, the D-backs set the tone. After the first two batters reached, Jake Lamb slugged a three-run home run that sent Arizona on its way to a 12-2 victory over the Reds. That claimed two of three games in the series.
Before Lamb batted, Daniel Descalso walked and Chris Iannetta hit a double against Reds rookie Luis Castillo. Castillo went on to retire 18 of his next 20 batters. Lamb added a second homer, a three-run shot to left field, in the ninth inning against Ariel Hernandez during a six-run rally to finish with a career-high six RBIs.
"I am so proud of these guys, fighting through some really difficult circumstances over the past several games -- a very capable Cincinnati Reds team, at 1 in the morning our starter has to go home for the birth of his child," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "We found a way to get it done … These guys really did a nice job rallying around one another."
Summoned for a spot start after Taijuan Walker left on paternity leave, Patrick Corbin provided 7 1/3 superb innings of work with one earned run, seven hits, one walk and six strikeouts.
• Corbin comes through on short notice
Corbin did not allow a run until Eugenio Suarez led off the Cincinnati fourth inning with a home run to left field that cut his lead to 3-1. Arizona got the run back in the fifth when Gregor Blanco hit a triple against Castillo and scored on Descalso's sacrifice fly.
Castillo pitched six innings with four earned runs, four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. Reds reliever Tony Cingrani allowed Blanco's two-run homer in the seventh inning. The first batter after Corbin departed, Suarez, greeted reliever and former Red J.J. Hoover with a solo homer to right field. That gave Suarez 15 homers this season and the third multi-homer game of his career.
Hernandez's rough ride in the ninth marked the fourth time in the last seven games the Reds' pitching staff has yielded double-digit run totals. During the 1-6 homestand that has three games remaining, Reds pitchers have allowed 20 homers.
"The theme is from a statistical standpoint, if we give up six runs or less we have an over .600 winning percentage," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But unfortunately, we have a lot of games where we give up more than six and that makes it a challenge.
"We need to be able to pitch better. So when we lose we end up talking quite often about the fact that we didn't pitch well enough."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Corbin gets Lamb off the hook: Following the Suarez homer, Corbin was in trouble when he gave up three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. The last hit, by Scooter Gennett, came when Lamb didn't touch third base for a force play and made a throw to first base instead. Corbin bailed him out, however, by retiring the rest of the side in order with two infield pop-ups sandwiching a strikeout.
"We had a good matchup," Price said. "Devin [Mesoraco], in particular on Corbin, he really hits left-handed pitching. He got into a good count but just wasn't able to square the ball up. Then [Scott] Schebler and [Jose] Peraza weren't able to come up with the hit. That's was a big moment, but it was one inning of opportunity. We need to create more and put ourselves in better positions of those opportunities. The more opportunities you have, you're eventually going to come through in the big moment."
Key triple: Leading off the fifth inning, Blanco lifted a fly ball to right field. The ball was short of clearing the wall but Scott Schebler misjudged it with a late leap as it ricocheted off the fence and got away. Blanco motored to third base with an easy triple, which set the stage for an add-on run for the D-backs. Blanco returned in the seventh with his homer off of Cingrani.
"Yeah, I feel really good now. I feel better. I'm just trying to be the same all the time. It's hard to be there constantly. I want to be there every day and I'm working hard to be there, my swing is so good. I see breaking balls and everything good now. I'm trying to put the ball in play like today, and hit it hard." -- Suarez, who came in batting .178 over his last 31 games, but is finding his way out of his slump
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
In the ninth inning according to Statcast™, Marte's homer against Hernandez was off of a 99.7-mph fastball. The home run pitch to Lamb earlier in the inning 99.1-mph. Entering the day, there had been only five home runs hit in the Majors on pitches that were 99 mph or higher all season.
• D-backs solve 99-mph heat
With runners on first and second base in the bottom of the fourth inning, a Gennett grounder took a weird roll down the line. Arizona third baseman Lamb picked up the ball and instead of touching third base for a force play, fired to first base. Gennett was called out by umpire Adrian Johnson but the Reds dugout challenged. After a review, replay officials overturned the call that gave Gennett a single and loaded the bases with no outs.
D-backs: It's not yet known who will take the mound in Arizona's 6:40 p.m. MST series opener against the Nationals on Friday. Candidates for the start include Matt Koch, who was called up Thursday, and Zack Godley, who last pitched Sunday.
Reds: The homestand moves on Friday when the Marlins come to town for a 7:10 p.m. ET series opener. Homer Bailey, who did not fare well as he allowed eight runs over four-plus innings Sunday in a loss to Washington, will try to turn things around while working opposite Jose Urena.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati who covered the D-backs on Thursday.