PHOENIX -- The D-backs concluded their first homestand of the season with a 3-2 win over the defending American League champion Indians on Sunday at Chase Field, giving them six wins in their first seven games.The 6-1 start matches the best in franchise history set 17 years ago in 2000
PHOENIX -- The D-backs concluded their first homestand of the season with a 3-2 win over the defending American League champion Indians on Sunday at Chase Field, giving them six wins in their first seven games.
The 6-1 start matches the best in franchise history set 17 years ago in 2000 and leads Major League Baseball at this point.
"I'm really proud of these guys for that, I really am," new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. "When we're on the back fields in Spring Training and these guys are working their butts off trying to grasp some concepts and execute it, it translates on the playing field right before our eyes. They deserve this moment, this credit. But it's not a time to get all soft and cozy. We've got to keep grinding away."
The D-backs swept the three-game Interleague series as left-hander Patrick Corbin bested Cleveland ace right-hander Corey Kluber with the aid of Chris Owings' first homer of the season, a line blast into the left-field bleachers off Kluber with one out in the sixth. Corbin, pitching one of his best games in his return from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery two years ago, shut out the Indians on four hits through six innings to get the win.
"Good angle with his fastball, and enough fastball," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Corbin. "And then off that, a pretty good changeup. It was a lot like [Zack Greinke on Saturday]. Any time you have that good changeup, that kind of takes a little bit of the speed out of guys' swings. He was really effective with that."
Corbin survived a first and third, one-out situation in the fifth when Carlos Santana grounded into a rally-killing double play.
Kluber, meanwhile, was effective, giving up only two earned runs on six hits in his six innings of work, striking out four and walking one.
"He was actually pretty good," said Francona, who pointed out that Kluber was fighting lower-back tightness during his outing. "Not only is he a good pitcher, but he knows how to pitch maybe even not on his best day."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double your pleasure: Kluber had two outs and nobody on in the D-backs half of the fourth when all the fun began. Three consecutive singles plated the first Arizona run. And with Brandon Drury up and runners on first and second, Owings and Jake Lamb executed a neat double steal. When the throw to third by Indians catcher Yan Gomes sailed into left field, Owings scooted home, scoring the second run on the error.
"I saw him going. Obviously, he's right in front of me," Gomes said. "I was going to take a step back. The batter kind of took a step back with me. It was one of those, throw it, but hold it. I decided a little too late to try to hold it back and just threw it away."
Replay, redux: Despite four replays and a pair of D-backs errors in the seventh inning -- both by shortstop Owings on an apparent double play grounder -- the Indians could only manage a single run. When the smoke cleared with runners on second and third, one out and Archie Bradley on the mound, Santana popped to short and Francisco Lindor bounced to second, with the throw from Drury barely nipping him at first. More >
"In a way, it almost felt like we never left Arizona. I know it's the regular season -- it's not Spring Training -- but yeah, it'll be nice to get back to Cleveland and play in front of our home fans." --Kluber, on the team's season-opening road trip
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The game ended long stretches for both clubs. The Indians went to camp in nearby Goodyear, Ariz., on Feb. 12 and haven't been back to Cleveland since then, playing their first six regular season games on the road. Their home opener against the White Sox is on Tuesday. Conversely, the D-backs haven't left Arizona since opening camp at Salt River Fields nearly two months ago. They travel to San Francisco to open the Giants home season at AT&T Park on Monday.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With runners on first and second and the D-backs leading 3-0 in the seventh, Austin Jackson chopped a pitch to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who tried to initiate a double play. Initially, Gomes was deemed out at second base, and Jackson reached on a throwing error to first by shortstop Owings. Yandy Diaz scored from second on the play.
The Indians challenged the out call at second and -- following a review lasting one minute and 11 seconds -- the ruling was overturned. Replays showed that Owings' foot came off second base before he caught the throw from Goldschmidt. The umpires then consulted replay to determine the placement of the runner (Gomes) due to Owings' errant throw. Gomes remained at second, and Owings was charged with two errors on the play.
During that series of replay consultations, the umpires also confirmed that Arizona could not challenge Gomes' slide technique into second. If the D-backs wanted to challenge that aspect of the play, they would have needed to do so before the first replay review.
"The way I understood it was their challenge wasn't allowed, because they did it out of order," Francona said. "They just didn't tell us. So, there was no challenge. I told [crew-chief Ted Barrett], 'I wish you would've told me,' and he said there was a little bit of confusion, that they were going to rectify after the game. I said, 'I know, but we're in the middle of the game now.'"
A batter later, Michael Martinez hit for Kluber and dropped a sacrifice bunt back to the mound fielded by Bradley, who had just entered the game. Bradley bounced his throw to first base and Martinez was called safe with the runners on first and second advancing. The D-backs challenged and the ruling was overturned and Martinez was called out at first.
Indians: Following a team off-day on Monday, the Indians will host the White Sox in a 4:10 p.m. ET divisional clash at Progressive Field on Tuesday. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to take the ball for the Tribe in its sold-out home opener, opposite Chicago righty James Shields.
D-backs: They head from here to San Francisco to open the Giants' home schedule and play their first road game of the season. The 1:35 p.m. PT Monday start opens a 10-game trip through the West to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Right-hander Taijuan Walker makes his second start for the D-backs, both against left-hander Matt Moore. Walker and the D-backs beat Moore this past Wednesday, 8-6.
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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.