PHOENIX -- It was just one out, but it was a rather significant one for the D-backs, going forward.Arizona closer Fernando Rodney entered in the game with two outs in the ninth inning on Friday night. Charged with holding the D-backs' three-run lead, he needed only six pitches to preserve
PHOENIX -- It was just one out, but it was a rather significant one for the D-backs, going forward.
Arizona closer Fernando Rodney entered in the game with two outs in the ninth inning on Friday night. Charged with holding the D-backs' three-run lead, he needed only six pitches to preserve a 6-3 victory.
With Thursday's blown save in Los Angeles not even 24 hours behind him, Rodney did what he has done so many times this season. He brought Tucker Barnhart to a full count, buried a 94 mph two-seamer low and inside, and forced a groundout to second to shut the door on a Cincinnati comeback attempt to end the game.
"These athletes, what they want to do after a performance where they have maybe not done their absolute best, they want to get out there as quickly as possible and turn the page," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
Lovullo stated before the game that there would be no change at the back of the bullpen; Rodney will be the D-backs' closer. With just six pitches, he helped turn the page on Thursday's loss.
For much of Friday night it looked as if Rodney wouldn't be needed; the D-backs took a 6-0 lead into the ninth, but once that was cut in half, Rodney was available and he delivered.
"I know Rodney had a tough one yesterday," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But he's been pretty darn good. I know he had an unbelievable month of June. I don't know who they want to use or who they want to stay away from. It looked like, when they went up 6-0, that's certainly a time to use maybe not your highest-profile relief pitchers. But scoring some runs there would have made a difference."
T.J. McFarland threw a clean eighth for the D-backs and retired the Reds in order. But in the ninth, Zack Cozart led off with a single, and Joey Votto blasted his 25th homer of the year on a full count one batter later. The D-backs then turned to the recently promoted Jake Barrett, and he tallied two outs before Scott Schebler hit his 22nd homer to cut the lead to 6-3.
"It wasn't how we drew it up," Lovullo said. "T.J. came out and gave us a really good eighth, and we tried to stretch it out a couple batters, and then Jake unfortunately couldn't get the job done. But I thought they both threw the ball pretty good.
"It was their turn to go out there and do their job, and when they couldn't do it anymore, they handed it off to the next guy, and the last guy standing was Fernando. He got the out, got the big out, got the save and it was a good moment for all of us"
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.