PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed a little fire on Monday night. They received it when Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove intentionally plunked Chris Owings to begin the bottom of the seventh inning as a form of retaliation for Braden Shipley hitting Josh Harrison in the top half of the frame."If
PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed a little fire on Monday night. They received it when Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove intentionally plunked Chris Owings to begin the bottom of the seventh inning as a form of retaliation for Braden Shipley hitting Josh Harrison in the top half of the frame.
"If it was retaliation, it certainly cost their pitcher a couple of runs and might have cost them a win," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
Arizona defeated the Pirates, 9-5, at Chase Field, but the D-backs faced a five-run deficit when Owings was hit. Until then, they had mustered just eight baserunners.
"That's how the game is played," Musgrove said of retaliating. "You're willing to go out and hit somebody, you've got to be willing to deal with might come with that, putting the leadoff runner on base, especially late in the game like that. You don't want to start a rally."
Well, he did.
Owings advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Nick Ahmed's RBI single. Shipley, a hitter in college, reached on a throwing error by third baseman David Freese, signaling the end of Musgrove's night.
For what it's worth, Musgrove had stymied Arizona until hitting Owings.
"We were laying flat, dormant, being dominated by him," Lovullo said. "I felt like it gave our dugout a lot of energy."
Edgar Santana entered and the D-backs ambushed him. Daniel Descalso laced an RBI single and moments later, Jake Lamb tied the game with a three-run homer. The D-backs had erased a 5-0 deficit.
Arizona had all the momentum heading to the eighth. The D-backs immediately continued putting pressure on the Pirates.
Ketel Marte scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Descalso drove in two more with a triple before scoring on a wild pitch.
The rally started with one decision, one pitch.
"You play the game and you protect your teammates," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's been going on for 135 years or so."
Added Owings: "I'm glad it hit me below the belt, that was nice."
In April, it seemed things went the D-backs' way. They won a lot of games, some of which in weird ways.
But May was rough. Some on the outside questioned if Arizona was for real. The D-backs weren't getting any of the breaks they did to begin the season.
They have been much better in June. The pitching has shown up for the most part, but they have been hitting again. For a moment, Monday night looked like it'd be a blip as Arizona couldn't muster any offense.
Until Musgrove gave the D-backs a baserunner and they pounced on the opportunity.
"We pride ourselves on that," Lovullo said. "I think those are some of the characteristics of a good team, that, when they sniff blood, they're ready to go out there and execute. When you get second chances in this game, you got to take advantage of them and our guys are ready for that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shipley had just replaced Patrick Corbin on the mound in the sixth inning. There were Pirates on first and second with one out. Jordy Mercer then drove a ball to deep center. It looked as if it would be two more runs for the Pirates, who led 5-0, but Owings made a terrific snag and threw to first to double off Josh Bell. The Pirates challenged the play, but the call on the field stood, thus ending the inning.
"I felt like that was huge, where we maybe got a little momentum going and stopped the bleeding there," said Owings. "We put together some really good at-bats after that and won the ballgame."
The D-backs won, but they finished with just nine hits. It's still a good amount, but entering Monday's game, they had four consecutive games with at least 10 hits. It was the first time they did so since a five-game stretch from Aug. 27-Sept. 1 of last season.
HE SAID IT
"I'm not a big fan of taking a baseball and throwing it at somebody as hard as you can. I know that there are some old-school baseball thoughts and old-school baseball traditions that are still followed. I think there's other ways that you can go out and operate and make things hurt when something like that happens. -- Lovullo, on retaliation in baseball
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With the game tied at 5 in the eighth, Marte jump-started the game-winning rally. After hitting a single to center, he took second when Kyle Crick walked Owings. After ball one to Ahmed, Pirates catcher Elias Diaz tried to pickoff Marte, who was in no man's land. As Diaz threw down to second, Marte broke for third. Shortstop Mercer took Diaz's throw and in turn fired down to Freese at third. Marte's left hand slid into Freese's left foot. Marte swung his right hand around to reach the bag and was initially ruled safe. Hurdle asked for a replay, and following a brief review, the call on the field stood. Crick's next pitch sailed to the backstop and Marte ran home with what proved to be the winning run.
The D-backs will send Clay Buchholz to the mound for Game 2 of their three-game series vs. the Pirates at Chase Field on Tuesday. Buchholz has been outstanding for Arizona since being called up from Triple-A Reno, holding a 1.88 ERA over four big league starts. Arizona will face Trevor Williams, an Arizona State alum who lives in the Phoenix area. Williams will try and get back on track after posting an 8.50 ERA over his last four starts. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. MST.
Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.