PHOENIX -- Before he stepped up to the plate to face Brad Peacock with the game tied and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, A.J. Pollock talked with hitting coach Dave Magadan."We came up with a good plan," Pollock said. "I was going
PHOENIX -- Before he stepped up to the plate to face Brad Peacock with the game tied and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, A.J. Pollock talked with hitting coach Dave Magadan.
"We came up with a good plan," Pollock said. "I was going to sit on [a slider]."
Meanwhile, Peacock had his own thought process.
"He was probably going to ambush me," Peacock said. "So, first-pitch slider."
Pollock hit the slider and it bounced once and then hit off the glove of a diving Alex Bregman at third as Deven Marrero came home with the game-winner as the D-backs snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win.
"I made a good pitch, broke his bat, but it just found a hole," Peacock said.
It may not have been pretty, but when it delivers a win, it's more than good enough.
"I don't think I'd hit that if I wasn't sitting on it, so it worked out," Pollock said. "It wasn't a 106-mph line drive in the gap, but it was what we needed and it was a good win."
At this point, the D-backs will do whatever they can to score runs.
In their six games prior to Saturday, they were 7-for-48 with runners in scoring position and went 2-4 over that stretch.
It was more of the same in the first inning Saturday, when they had a chance to blow the game wide open as Houston starter Charlie Morton walked the first three batters he faced and four total in the inning. Despite that, the D-backs came away with just one run.
"We build innings, we're putting ourselves in a very good position to score some runs," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's just unfortunate we can't get that big hit, the big KO. Our guys are working, they're following the process, and unfortunately, we can't flatline a starting pitcher."
The D-backs were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position Saturday, but in the end, the only one that mattered was Pollock's hit.
"We need to do a better job of it," catcher Jeff Mathis said of getting runners in. "But I've got faith that we'll start getting those guys in more often than we have been."
It was Mathis who started the winning rally with, of all things, a bunt single to third.
When he stepped in the batter's box against Chris Devenski, Mathis noticed Bregman was playing him deep at third.
Like he did against the Rockies in last year's Wild Card Game, Mathis dropped down a perfect bunt.
"It's something I'm always looking for," Mathis said. "He was way back there, so I knew I didn't have to be perfect, just have to get it down the line somewhat. I'm not the fastest person, but they're playing way back there I'll try."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Patience is a virtue: With two outs and a runner on second in the ninth, pinch-hitter Chris Owings and Paul Goldschmidt each drew walks off Devenski to set up Pollock's game-winner off Peacock. Rather than be anxious and swing at pitches out of the zone to try and get the runner in they grinded out their at-bats.
"It took a lot of effort to get that one run across," Pollock said. "We were able to have a bunch of good at-bats to get the bases loaded."
Astros reliever Collin McHugh became the first pitcher to use the Chase Field bullpen cart during a regular-season game.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With runners at first and second and one out in the third, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa crushed a Zack Greinke offering on a line to straightaway center.
Pollock raced back and made the catch just in front of the wall, and instead of two runs possibly scoring, the runners retreated and Greinke was able to get out of the inning without any damage.
"That was perfect," Greinke said of the catch. "His routes are amazing. It seems like he's always in the right spot. When he first hit it, I couldn't tell how great he hit it. I knew he hit it good so when I saw A.J. running as hard as he was at it, I was like 'Man, maybe he'll have a chance at it.'"
Matt Koch will take the mound for the D-backs in the series finale on Sunday. Koch, who replaced Taijuan Walker in the starting rotation, holds a 2.37 ERA over three starts this season. Last time out, he allowed a pair of earned runs against the Dodgers. The D-backs will face Justin Verlander, who is 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA in three career starts against Arizona. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. MST.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.