Cody clutch: Ross lifts D-backs in 12th
Corbin gets no-decision vs. hometown club; Gregorius hits first homer
NEW YORK -- When the D-backs signed Cody Ross as a free agent during the offseason, one of the reasons they cited was his ability to deliver in the clutch.
On Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, Ross did just that as his RBI single started a four-run 12th-inning rally as the D-backs avoided a sweep and beat the Yankees, 6-2.
"I don't know. I guess I concentrate a little bit more, focus a little bit more when the game is on the line," Ross said. "I was telling somebody earlier that maybe I should act like it's the ninth inning in the first inning and have that approach, but it's a feel thing. You start off in the game trying to get a feel for things, see some pitches and then once the game is on the line, you bear down a little bit more and focus."
It didn't seem like the game would be on the line in the 12th, because it looked like the D-backs would have this thing wrapped up in nine.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin, who grew up in central New York rooting for the Yankees, tossed a masterful seven innings.
The 23-year-old allowed just a pair of hits and walked three while striking out seven much to the delight of a large contingent of friends and family, who were in the stands.
"It's a day I'll never forget," Corbin said. "Just to be here with my family, all my friends here getting to see me play, it was awesome. To have the chance to pitch here is just amazing. I felt good and had really good fastball command and my slider today was good."
Didi Gregorius, who was acquired from the Reds in a three-team deal last winter and was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, gave Corbin an early lead when he led off the third inning with a home run to right on the first pitch he saw from Phil Hughes. It was Gregorius' first at-bat in a D-backs uniform.
Gregorius became the seventh player to homer in his first at-bat with the D-backs, joining Alex Cabrera, Bobby Estalella, Jose Cruz Jr., Felipe Lopez, Gerardo Parra and John Hester. He is the first of the group to do it on the first pitch.
"It's been a dream to play here," the 23-year-old said. "It's every kid's dream to be able to play in this stadium. I got a chance and I hit a home run, too. It was really exciting for me."
Gregorius flashed a big smile as he rounded third and he was asked what was going through his mind.
"'I can't believe I just hit a home run,'" he thought. "I was really happy rounding the bases. At first, I was trying not to smile, but then I smiled anyway."
Arizona increased its lead to 2-0 when Martin Prado led off the sixth with a home run.
The Yankees cut the lead in half in the sixth when Robinson Cano hit an 0-1 pitch into the home bullpen in right-center.
The D-backs turned things over to closer J.J. Putz in the ninth, and after retiring the first hitter of the inning, Putz hung a split-finger fastball to Francisco Cervelli, who hit it into the seats in left to tie the game.
"It was a split that didn't do anything, so basically a BP fastball," Putz said. "I had the right idea, right thought process. I wanted to bounce it. It just didn't go down."
Said Cervelli, "The homer right now doesn't mean anything, because we lost the game. I don't care if I hit three homers and we lost. I'm not happy."
Gerardo Parra started the winning rally with a double to lead off the 12th against David Phelps. Parra came to the plate with just six hits in his previous 41 at-bats.
After the D-backs loaded the bases, Ross lined a single to left to score Parra, and Eric Chavez followed with a three-run double to right-center to pad the lead.
"[Manager Kirk Gibson] has always told us to play hard no matter what," said reliever Heath Bell, who worked a scoreless 11th. "Unfortunately, in the first two games, we kind of let it slip by us, but we didn't give up. Even though they tied the game, we just kept grinding. That's what we do. We go out there and play hard every single out we have. You could see it. We just didn't give up."