Kelly's first D-backs AB is winning 2B in 13th

March 30th, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- As the game stretched on, found himself going to the batting cage behind the D-backs' dugout three, maybe four times to keep himself ready.

He put his catcher’s gear on, too, at one point. Heck, he thinks he might have taken some swings with his shin guards on. He can’t remember exactly.

Who could blame him for forgetting some of the details of what took place during the D-backs' 5-4 win over the Dodgers in the longest regular-season game in Dodger Stadium history.

The 13-inning game, which began Friday night and ended in the early hours of Saturday morning, lasted six hours and five minutes, and it was Kelly, one of the last two players left on Arizona's bench, who delivered the game-winning hit in his first plate appearance for the D-backs.

Fitting this game of strange moments, Kelly’s pinch-hit RBI double in the 13th was a jam-shot blooper that fell just inside the right-field line, allowing Nick Ahmed to scamper home from second.

“Just fighting it off,” Kelly said. “But I stayed through the zone long enough to get some barrel on it and get it out to right there. It was a great feeling. I’ve had lots of moments like that before, but this one was pretty special. It was good to make my impact in the longest game in Dodger Stadium history. It’s pretty special.”

Kelly was acquired from the Cardinals in the December trade that sent Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis. And while Goldschmidt delivering three homers Friday night to help his new team win might get the attention, Kelly did his part to give the D-backs a much-needed win.

Coming off an Opening Day loss in which they allowed eight homers, an MLB record for Opening Day, to the Dodgers and trailing, 3-0, through the first six innings Friday, the D-backs showed some fight.

"Awesome,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I'm so proud of these guys because of the fight they had. We got beat pretty bad [Thursday], and they turned the page quickly. We fought all day long to win that game.”

The game was filled with twists and turns and interesting storylines. Here are some of them:

Pollock’s night

After seven years in a D-backs uniform, outfielder A.J. Pollock signed a free-agent deal with the Dodgers during the offseason.

Pollock had a huge night, contributing to all four Dodgers runs. He hit a solo homer in the second, knocked a two-run single in the third and doubled and scored a tie-breaking run in the seventh.

Wild pitch

Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez struck out Ahmed for what would have been the final out of the seventh inning, but the high fastball hit off the top of catcher Russell Martin’s glove, rolled to the backstop and allowed Ahmed to reach first.

“You just never know how it’s going to happen,” Ahmed said. “You just keep pushing along. Not that I had a good at-bat by any means, but I found a way, I guess, to get on base.”

After Ahmed stole second, Alex Avila drew a walk that set the stage for ...

Walker does it again

Christian Walker, who homered on Opening Day, entered as a pinch-hitter after Avila's walk and smacked a three-run homer off Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly to tie the game at 3.

It was the fifth career pinch-hit home run for Walker, three of which have come against the Dodgers. Of his eight career home runs, four are against Los Angeles.

“He’s got big power,” Ahmed said. “Hopefully, we’re going to get him a lot of at-bats because he’s going to keep doing that. He works really, really hard at his craft, and he’s a great hitter. It’s not an accident he’s doing what he’s doing.”

Highlight play

Pollock might have had a game-winning hit in the 10th with two outs and the bases loaded, but his sharp grounder back up the middle was snared by D-backs reliever Matt Andriese behind his back, and then he threw easily to first base to end the inning.

“A.J.’s swinging the bat very well right now, and we’ve seen that firsthand,” Lovullo said. “You get that type of an out, it was a huge out, it got us out of that situation and let us play on.”