Taylor's slam propels Nats past D-backs
PHOENIX -- Michael Taylor hit the first grand slam of his career in the top of the ninth inning off D-backs closer Addison Reed, giving the Nationals a come-from-behind 9-6 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field on Wednesday to take two of three games in the series.
Yasmany Tomas came off the bench in the bottom of the eighth inning and gave the D-backs a 6-5 lead with a pinch-hit single. But the Nationals loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, setting the stage for Taylor's dramatics.
Taylor would not even have been in the game had Bryce Harper not been ejected along with manager Matt Williams by plate umpire Rob Drake after disputing a checked-swing third strike that ended the seventh inning. Taylor entered the game in the bottom of the inning and assumed Harper's cleanup spot.
"I think we got fortunate in that one," Williams said. "They had a lot of opportunities. We allowed them to have a lot of opportunities. We were just able to get the last swing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
For what it's Werth: D-backs starter Jeremy Hellickson was cruising along with two outs and no one on in the third and a 1-0 lead. He then walked Denard Span and hit Yunel Escobar with a pitch. Jayson Werth took the next two pitches for balls and on a 2-1 count launched his three-run homer into the left-center-field seats, his second of the season, giving the Nationals a 3-1 lead in what would become a back-and-forth affair.
Gold Standard: With the D-backs trailing, 3-1, Ender Inciarte led off the bottom of the third with a single, Mark Trumbo followed with a walk and Paul Goldschmidt smashed a double off the wall in center for the first of three runs in the inning to push the D-backs back ahead, 4-3. Goldschmidt, who hit a single in the first inning, also led off the fifth with a triple, leaving him only a home run short of hitting for the cycle. He was intentionally walked in the sixth and struck out in his final at-bat. More >
Less is Moore: Tyler Moore was a .179 hitter when he came up to pinch-hit for Gonzalez in the sixth against reliever Randall Delgado. Hellickson had just walked Danny Espinosa with two outs and was yanked from the game. Moore took Delgaldo deep on his second pitch for a two-run homer that tied the score, 5-5. The homer was his second of the season.
"I always like our chances. We've come back a lot since I've been here. I don't ever feel like I'm out of it. A couple of base hits. I worked a walk. It just so happens that Michael Taylor comes up there and get his first grand slam. It was pretty cool for him, good for us."
-- Werth, on the big ninth-inning rally
"Aaron Hill is swinging the bat well and Chris Owings is swinging the bat. He's been working on stuff in the cage since he's gotten here. It's just hard to take Aaron or C.O. out of the lineup right now."
-- D-backs manager Chip Hale, on Tomas, who was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row before his pinch-hit single
Nationals: Without the benefit of an off-day, the Nationals travel to San Diego and open a four-game series against the Padres at Petco Park on Thursday with a 10:10 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Doug Fister (2-1, 2.87 ERA) is slated to take the mound opposite right-hander Tyson Ross (1-3, 3.98 ERA), who leads the National League with 23 walks.
D-backs: Chase Anderson takes the mound on Friday in Philadelphia for a 4:05 MST first pitch. Anderson gave up back-to-back singles to start the game against the Padres in his last outing, but retired 11 of the next 12 he faced. He also sat down 10 of the final 12 he faced from the fourth through seventh innings.
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