D-backs score season-high 12 runs to beat Reds
PHOENIX -- The D-backs snapped out of their offensive funk Monday afternoon hammering Reds pitching for 11 hits in a 12-5 win that kicked off a big six-game homestand at Chase Field.
The win was just the third for the D-backs in their last 18 games.
Over that span, Arizona has seen its lead in the National League West evaporate and its bats go ice cold. The 12 runs Monday was a season-high and more than half the total (18) the D-backs scored on their recent nine-game road trip.
"We talked about it [pregame] today, just trust the process and keep having good at-bats," D-backs outfielder Chris Owings said. "Take it one AB at a time and don't look at it as though we've got to do something here. Just take it pitch by pitch, and I felt like everybody had that approach today and it really paid off."
After a good start to the year, Owings hit an offensive slump like the rest of the team, going 3-for-44 during the 18-game stretch.
Monday, though, he delivered a huge blow when he hit a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth just after the Reds had scored four runs in the top half of the inning to cut a once-formidable Arizona lead to just 6-5.
Owings' homer came after Reds reliever Jackson Stephens retired Daniel Descalso and John Ryan Murphy, which left the D-backs on the verge of wasting a golden opportunity, something that has happened continually this month.
Instead, the homer into the left-field bleachers gave the D-backs a 9-5 lead, and they didn't look back.
"It was a special swing that broke open the game," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was a huge part of the ballgame because they closed the gap on us real quick."
While there were more smiles than usual in the clubhouse postgame, the D-backs were hesitant to put too much significance on one game. After all, it was just Friday when they also appeared to have broken out of their slump by beating the A's, 7-1.
Instead, they scored just one run over the next two games to lose that series.
"It's nice to have a big offensive day, but I don't think we're going to put too much stock in it," Descalso said. "It was just one game. It was nice to have some big innings there after they scored four and we came back with three to answer back. I think that was a good sign for our offense."
Having their offense come alive would be big for the D-backs on this homestand, which features three games each against the last-place Reds and Marlins.
"This was just a game that we all needed," Owings said. "Just get everybody on the bases, just get everybody swinging the bat. I feel like we had really good at-bats today. I think we just need to keep having at-bats like that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Caught a break: Things have not gone the D-backs' way of late, but they got a big break in the second. With runners at first and third and one out, Socrates Brito hit a grounder to short that looked to be a tailor-made double-play ball. Instead, it hit off Jose Peraza's glove for an error. Instead of ending the inning, it allowed a run to score, and brought Nick Ahmed to the plate, where he hit a three-run homer to break things open.
"We caught a break, and I want to make a big point of that, because we haven't gotten a lot of breaks," Lovullo said. "I'm not up here whining about it. I just know that teams have been playing their best against us and we've suffered because we've made a mistake or two and gotten behind the eight-ball. But today we took advantage of a really key mistake on defense that was made and capitalized with the big three-run home run."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The four-run Reds fifth could have been worse had it not been for a nice throw from Ahmed and tag by Murphy. Homer Bailey hit a grounder that kicked off the glove of third baseman Jake Lamb for a hit. Adam Duvall tried to come around from second to score on the play, but Ahmed tracked the ball down quickly and threw a strike home to just nail Duvall.
"Nick was right in the middle of a lot of really important plays today," Lovullo said. "Instinctually picks up the ball and really doesn't have a chance to set his feet and throws a strike home and preserves the one-run lead. It doesn't surprise me, we get spoiled by some outstanding plays he makes. He's one of the best."
HE SAID IT
"I think we just didn't get ourselves out today. I think we let them lose it a little bit. We really made them come to us. We didn't really chase too much. I think that's the key to success." -- Owings
The D-backs' offense looks to build on its performance in the series opener when they square off against the Reds in the second game of the three-game set Tuesday night at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Zack Godley, who has struggled with his command recently, will get the start for the D-backs, while the Reds send right-hander Luis Castillo to the hill.