PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed this one. They had lost six straight. A couple of hours before Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Brewers at Chase Field, they learned that center fielder A.J. Pollock would miss four to eight weeks with a fracture in his left thumb.The player who pushed
PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed this one. They had lost six straight. A couple of hours before Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Brewers at Chase Field, they learned that center fielder A.J. Pollock would miss four to eight weeks with a fracture in his left thumb.
The player who pushed them over the edge late was Daniel Descalso, who has come up clutch several times this season. The left-handed Descalso hit an RBI single through the right side off left-hander Boone Logan in the eighth inning, scoring Jarrod Dyson.
"In the early part of the season, we were able to get that big hit quite a few times," Descalso said. "The last week or so, it's kind of alluded us. So, tonight, we were able to get that big hit."
The D-backs also received a great start from Zack Greinke, who threw six innings of one-run baseball. He struck out five and walked one.
Once Greinke exited, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger each pitched a clean inning to finish the job.
"On a night when we really needed it, obviously with the news of A.J., I think Zack steps up in a big way and gives us six incredible innings and we turn it over to the bullpen," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was just the perfect remedy and almost the way you draw it up when you script it in your head."
Early in the season, the D-backs would put up crooked numbers and bury teams in a hurry. They had signature explosive innings.
But recently, they've scrapped for runs.
Take Tuesday's eighth inning. Jeff Mathis led off with a walk before Dyson -- who is dealing with back tightness -- pinch-ran for him. John Ryan Murphy bunted Dyson over to second before David Peralta's groundout allowed him to reach third.
Descalso delivered the decisive blow, but he didn't scorch the ball. It barely got past a diving Jonathan Villar, who was positioned in shallow right field.
"I want these guys to understand that they're a pretty special offensive group and when everything is clicking, we can put some runs up in a hurry," Lovullo said. "But during this period of time I felt like [small ball] was something that I had to pay close attention to, to help us get some runners in scoring position and put some pressure on the opposition."
Before Tuesday, the D-backs' last win came at Dodger Stadium on May 8. Descalso's three-run homer in the 12th inning was the difference. A week later, he helped the team snap a losing streak with the big hit that has escaped it recently.
"Once again, it's Daniel Descalso that steps up in a big moment and delivers a key base hit," Lovullo said. "Left on left, it didn't faze him and helped us win a ballgame."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Murphy, a pinch-hitter, was down to two strikes in the eighth inning. The D-backs called off the bunt sign. But Murphy didn't pull back. He found a way to bunt Dyson over.
"I needed to get Dyson to second base, bottom line," he said. "That was my task at the beginning of the at-bat. I thought that was my best bet to get it done, even with two strikes."
Added Lovullo: "I don't really believe in pinch-bunting to be honest with you, but sometimes you've got to do something a little bit out of the norm or throw out the spray chart a little bit to help us win a game. They executed and they did a good job."
Before the D-backs took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, their last lead was in Greinke's last start on May 10. They took a 1-0 lead over the Nationals in the fifth inning during that game. Before Tuesday's eighth inning, it had been 47 total frames since they'd held a lead.
"I think every time somebody gets on base you can feel things building up," Lovullo said. "We talked about relaxing, taking relaxed at-bats ... doing all we can to not let the moment get too big that we can't really execute. The guys have been doing that and unfortunately haven't had a big hit."
HE SAID IT
"There are some teams that shift on me, some teams that don't. I'm still trying to figure it out -- all the data is the same, how come some teams are shifting and some teams aren't?" -- Descalso
The D-backs will send Matt Koch to the mound for the series finale against the Brewers on Wednesday at Chase Field. Koch has excelled in the absence of Taijuan Walker, holding a 2.43 ERA over 33 1/3 innings. The D-backs will face Brandon Woodruff, who gave up seven earned runs in just three innings in his last start at Colorado. First pitch is set for 12:40 p.m. MST.
Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com.