D-backs bop three HRs, keep rolling behind Corbin
Kubel, Goldschmidt, Hill flex muscles in rout of Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Following their offseason makeover, the D-backs figured they would hit fewer home runs this year.
Saturday night at Miller Park, though, they smacked three homers en route to a 9-2 win over the Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park.
The win was the third in a row for the D-backs, who go for the sweep of this three-game series on Sunday.
The D-backs jettisoned a couple of power hitters in Justin Upton and Chris Young during the offseason and focused heavily this spring on moving runners over and playing situational baseball.
"Obviously there's been an emphasis on moving runners and playing small ball at times," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "We've got guys that can hit. Obviously some days you hit homers and other days you try to scratch a couple of runs across and win."
Saturday was the former as the D-backs hit Brewers starter Mike Fiers hard from the outset.
Through the first three innings, though, they only had one run to show for it.
"I felt like honestly we had hit some balls hard and they had made some pretty good plays and there were some balls hit right at them," Goldschmidt said.
Meanwhile the Brewers forced Arizona starter Patrick Corbin to work from the stretch after Norichika Aoki led off the first with a single, and Milwaukee managed single runs in the first and second innings to grab a 2-1 lead.
It looked like the Brewers might do more damage in the second inning but Corbin managed to get Rickie Weeks to ground out with runners on second and third to end the threat.
"When he got out of the stretch early on he was struggling a little bit, he was falling off the ball and couldn't locate it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "The big thing is in the second inning he got in trouble and he cut that inning off and was able to get back on track."
While Corbin was settling down, the D-backs started hitting the ball over the fence.
Goldschmidt led off with a double off the left-field wall and Jason Kubel followed with a home run down the right-field line to give the D-backs a 3-2 lead.
Arizona extended the lead later in the inning on Gerardo Parra's RBI single.
Then in the fifth, Miguel Montero drew a one-out walk and Goldschmidt delivered a home run to left to put the D-backs up, 6-2.
Corbin had last pitched eight days earlier and after the second inning, pitching coach Charles Nagy told him he needed to work down in the strike zone.
"I was a little off a little bit," Corbin said. "Having eight days off coming in and plus my first game, so I was a little excited. I was leaving some balls up early. Keeping the ball down was a big thing 'Nags' was saying. It's kind of what I did those innings and got a lot of ground balls."
Of the 12 outs Corbin recorded after the second inning, 10 of them came on the ground.
"I just overall kept it down later in the game and didn't get very many hits with it," Corbin said. "And got a lot of ground balls. That was a big thing that I did, throw a lot of fastballs today and that was good."
Corbin allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking one.
"Corbin, really good fastball," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He throws enough off-speed with the slider and the changeup to keep you off-balance, but he's very aggressive like [Wade] Miley with the fastball. He comes at you inside, he'll throw it away. He's got the velocity on it. It gave us problems."
For the second straight game the D-backs did not have to deal with Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun, who was out with neck spasms. In addition, the Brewers were without third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who injured his left knee Friday and was placed on the disabled list before Saturday's game.
"We got some hits today, we had opportunities," Roenicke said. "We have to come through when we get opportunities. When we get the guys on second and third, we need some big hits ... because the opportunities, with the whole group not swinging well, are not going to be there every inning."