D-backs walk off, will host NL Wild Card Game

September 24th, 2017

PHOENIX -- The fans at Chase Field got to celebrate twice Sunday as the D-backs clinched a Wild Card berth during the game and then secured home-field advantage in the National League Wild Card Game with a 3-2 walk-off win over the Marlins.

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J.D. Martinez delivered the game-winning hit by lacing a single to left field with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

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"You knew it was going to be he or Goldy coming up and one of them was going to get it done like they have all year," said D-backs left-hander , who allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings. "He's been huge for us. What a fun way to win it on a walk-off."

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It was the first walk-off hit of Martinez's career, so what was going through his mind when he realized his drive to left was going to get over 's head?

"Let's go!" he said. "Game over, let's party!"

The fans had already partied after the top of the fourth inning when it was announced that both the Brewers and the Cardinals had lost, which clinched a Wild Card spot for Arizona. D-backs players and coaches emerged from the dugout to acknowledge the cheers.

"You see it on the board, everybody knows," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "At that point, it kind of changes the game really in our eyes, too. There were guys that up to the last minute we would have used. But once that happened, I wasn't going to use [certain relievers]. It changes the game a little bit in our eyes."

It looked like that would have to suffice as far as things to cheer about, though, as the Marlins carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth before the D-backs managed to tie the game off reliever .

Marlins starter Dan Straily kept the D-backs in check over six innings of work, allowing one run on four hits while striking out nine.

"We were challenged from our coaching staff to try to treat this three-game set as a playoff series," Straily said. "We tried to focus in on that. I think the underlying message with that was to make sure we were focused on that, and finishing strong. The way we played today, we really gave everything we got, and just got beat."

The Marlins grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by , who increased his franchise-record RBI total to 126. contributed an RBI double in the fourth for a 2-0 Marlins lead.

The D-backs got a homer from Chris Herrmann in the fifth.


Descalso delivers: Martinez's hit will be remembered as the game-winner, but he wouldn't have gotten the opportunity had not tied things in the eighth. led off the inning with a single to left and he advanced to second when the ball got past Ozuna. One out later, Descalso singled to center to tie the game at 2.

Straily gets out of it: Straily faced his biggest jam in the sixth when Descalso drew a two-out walk and followed with a double to put runners at second and third. Mattingly walked to the mound to talk to Straily, but left him in the game. The move paid off when Straily fanned A.J. Pollock to end the threat.

Mattingly and the training staff had come out to check on Straily after they noticed him shaking his arm before Lamb's at-bat. Straily said he felt a little cramp in his right triceps, but he was fine.


"These guys are enjoying this and it's making me feel very proud." -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, while watching the postgame celebration

"We felt they were a good club last year, honestly. Everything went wrong last year. Then you see guys come together, and sometimes the next year it pops. Obviously, Torey did a great job, and his staff, over there. They play good baseball. They're a tough club." -- Mattingly, on the D-backs clinching a spot in the postseason


Home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg was forced to leave the game in the top of the eighth after being hit in the head by 's bat in the seventh. Marte swung and popped the pitch up, and his follow through was awkward as he let go of the bat, which then struck Kellogg. Kellogg remained in the game for the first batter of the eighth, but then was replaced by first-base umpire James Hoye.


Marlins: Miami's final road series begins on Monday at 8:40 p.m. ET at Coors Field against the Rockies. (0-3, 4.37 ERA) starts for Miami, with Colorado going with right-hander (8-13, 4.56 ERA). At Coors Field, Stanton has 10 home runs in 20 career games.

D-backs: Arizona opens a three-game series against the Giants with on the mound Monday night at Chase Field at 6:40 p.m. MST. Godley is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA in his last five home starts.

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