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D-backs 'just never quit,' rally to top Cards

@SteveGilbertMLB
September 25, 2019

PHOENIX -- On Sunday morning, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo stood on the top step of the visitors’ dugout in San Diego and marveled at what he was seeing on the field. With a day game following a night game, there was no batting practice scheduled, but there was a handful

PHOENIX -- On Sunday morning, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo stood on the top step of the visitors’ dugout in San Diego and marveled at what he was seeing on the field.

With a day game following a night game, there was no batting practice scheduled, but there was a handful of his players, fielding grounders. It didn’t matter that Arizona was one day away from being eliminated from postseason contention.

Box score

“They just never quit,” Lovullo said. “It makes me feel so good to see this.”

The Cardinals may be headed to the postseason and the D-backs to the offseason come Monday, but in outlasting St. Louis in a 19-inning marathon that ended in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday and rallying for a 9-7 victory on Wednesday afternoon, Arizona showed it still had plenty of fight.

“I think it just kind of shows what this team is about,” said reliever Archie Bradley, who got Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a game-ending double play with the potential tying runs on base.

Despite the quick turnaround, the D-backs played most of their regulars because Lovullo felt they owed it to Major League Baseball to be competitive with the Cards, who are battling the Brewers for the National League Central crown.

“Definitely, you don’t feel 100 percent,” second baseman Wilmer Flores said. “But once you go out there, you feel like you’re good to play. Obviously, nobody got enough sleep, but they didn’t get enough sleep, too, so you always have to battle. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, it’s a baseball game. We come here to win a baseball game. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing or the situation that we’re in. We just play hard. Everybody just has to do what they’re supposed to do. It doesn’t matter what’s going on off the field. That’s what we did today. We know we have a good team, and we can beat anybody.”

The Cardinals built a 5-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth despite having lost their starting pitcher, Michael Wacha, to injury in the second inning.

The script flipped in the bottom half of the inning, when Arizona sent 10 men to the plate and capitalized on a pair of walks and two errors in putting together a seven-run frame that sealed the game.

Flores capped the inning with a two-run homer, his ninth of the year. The rally also gave the D-backs a push in the energy department.

“Any time you score seven runs in an inning, you feel good about yourself,” Flores said.

The win was the 82nd of the year for Arizona, which finished 82-80 in 2018. The D-backs have three games remaining, against the Padres, and don’t plan on easing up.

“We wanted to win the series,” Bradley said. “And we want to win the next three and push our record to 85 wins. I think that would be a pretty darn good year for what people said and expected, and something to build off of.”

The D-backs remained in contention for the second NL Wild Card spot up until Monday night, when the Cards beat them, 9-7.

“We can all look back and wish we would have played better throughout the year to make the playoffs,” Bradley said. “But I don’t feel negative or down about not making the postseason. I’m upset, but I feel like this team, we fought hard all year and we just kind of weren’t good enough in some big games. [We’re] not going to stop now just because we didn’t make it.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.