D-backs ride Parra's arm, four-run frame to victory
Goldschmidt smacks two-run double; Cahill gets third straight win
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gerardo Parra made sure Trevor Cahill was a winner and gave Paul Goldschmidt a chance to feel good about his offensive contribution.
Goldschmidt saw a couple of pitches to hit and he didn't miss them Thursday night, driving in a pair of runs to snap a slump and help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-2.
"He's a dominant player out there," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said about Parra, who threw out two runners on the basepaths, giving him 13 on the season, the most in the National League.
"I'm ready for anything," Parra said. "When the game is tied and I can throw someone out, I love that. I'm always waiting for a guy running."
D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist suggested that guys like Parra don't get nearly as much credit as they deserve.
"In baseball it's tough to say that a defensive player is a game changer," Bloomquist said. "But he's a game changer. He saved at least two runs. He's pretty accurate. I can't say enough about him."
Bloomquist won't get any argument from Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
"There's not a better arm in baseball," Bochy said. "He's as accurate as anyone in the outfield making those throws. It's impressive how well he throws."
Gibson said Parra worked hard to improve that part of his game.
"He has a Gold Glove and great hands because he's always out in the outfield during batting practice," Gibson said. "He used to be errant with his throws. They sailed on him. He's come so far with that."
Parra takes a certain delight in throwing out runners, acknowledging that's why he worked so hard to improve his arm.
"During BP I worked on seeing the cutoff and throwing through him," Parra said. "I'm happy when I can do what I did and the team wins."
Bloomquist was on the receiving end of a ball Parra threw that nailed Brandon Belt trying to stretch a single.
"He has great velocity and a good backspin on the ball that allows it to travel straight," Bloomquist said. "When he wants it to bounce, he makes sure it's always a true hop."
Goldschmidt was hitless in 16 at-bats before singling in the third inning. He doubled home two runs in a four-run fifth as the D-backs won their second in a row following a three-game losing streak.
Martin Prado and Aaron Hill, who was hitless in 14 at-bats entering the game, also drove in runs. The victory allowed the D-backs to keep pace with the Reds for the final National League Wild Card spot. Arizona trails Cincinnati by 7 1/2 games.
"When you're scoring runs, that's what is happening," Bloomquist said about the fifth, when the D-backs scored all their runs after two were out and nobody was on. "It's a matter of piecing things together, keep grinding out at-bats."
Cahill (6-10) won his third consecutive decision since returning from the disabled list, though he wasn't quite as sharp. He gave up two runs on six hits over five innings, walking four and striking out three.
"It seems like I have one bad inning where I sort of lose it," Cahill said. "I got out of it with help from the right fielder. Then in the fifth, there were two outs and all of a sudden we're up. It's all about not giving up."
It's also nice having a right fielder with a cannon for an arm who can change the game with one throw.