"These guys are tough and they compete," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of his team. "They showed that toughness tonight for several moments. Our backs were squarely against the wall."
Ketel Marte was the hero in the end, delivering a two-out single to center in the 13th off Tyler Glasnow to score Jon Jay from second.
Marte knew that Glasnow threw hard, but during his seven-pitch at-bat, he saw just two fastballs from the right-hander. With a 3-2 count, Glasnow threw an 84 mph breaking ball that Marte just got a piece of and that catcher Elias Diaz couldn't grab.
"He throws hard," Marte said. "I was just trying to be short with my swing and get a good pitch in the zone. In that situation, I was just trying to put the ball in play. I was just trying to put the ball in play, stay short. He throws 98. I was just looking for the fastball every time, and if you're waiting for the fastball every time from the guy who throws 98, you're going to see the breaking ball really good."
Glasnow came back with another breaking ball, and this time Marte hit it squarely into center.
Marte has turned his season around at the plate since his average fell to .212 on May 27. After Friday's game, it was up to .244, and he has 15 extra-base hits over that stretch.
"He's such a gifted player," Lovullo said. "He's in a very good spot right now, on both sides of the ball. You can see what he's doing defensively. He grinded through that at-bat. He had not a perfect day at the plate up to that point, and he put all that aside for one great moment and he came through in a big way for us."
Though they were long gone by the time the game was decided, D-backs starter Patrick Corbin and Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova engaged in quite the pitchers' duel.
Corbin fanned a career-high-tying 12 in seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and no walks.
While not able to match him in the strikeout category, Nova was every bit as effective, allowing just three hits over eight innings. He also did not allow a walk.
"That was one of the classic Patrick outings for me," Lovullo said. "He was driving his fastball on both sides of the plate which set up his secondary stuff. He had a swing-and-miss slider at the bottom of the zone."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Chafin gets him: Left-hander Andrew Chafin started the 12th for the D-backs and after striking out the first two batters, he got into a jam when Gregory Polanco blooped a single to left and moved to second when pinch-hitter Josh Bell drew a walk. Chafin, though, was able to get Josh Harrison to pop out to second base to send the game to the 13th where the D-backs would prevail.
SOUND SMART Corbin is the 10th pitcher this year to get at least 25 swinging strikes in a game, and the first D-backs pitcher to do it since Zack Greinke on May 27, 2017. Corbin got 21 of them on sliders, which is the most in a game by anyone since Tyson Ross on June 20, 2015.
BOXBERGER STILL CLOSING The D-backs turned a 1-0 lead over to closer Brad Boxberger in the 11th, but for the second straight time, the right-hander was unable to convert the save, as he walked three (one intentionally) during the inning. Lovullo said after the game that Boxberger was still his closer and emphasized the job he did of getting out of the bases-loaded, one-out jam after the run had scored.
"It's minimal concern for me," Lovullo said. "I know he didn't do it today and I know he's had a couple tough outings, but it's a very difficult game. You get nicked up at times, you've got to come back and fight through those moments of doubt. I think he did that today after creating an inning and wiggling out of the situation. I think that was a good moment for him."
UP NEXT The D-backs continue their four-game series with the Pirates with a 1:05 p.m. MST game on Saturday at PNC Park. Greinke gets the start for the D-backs, riding a stretch where he has won three of his last four starts, including last time out against the Angels, when he gave up three runs over 6 1/3 innings. In his career at PNC Park, Greinke is 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA. Greinke's lone loss lately came against the Pirates earlier this month at Chase Field. Joe Musgrove starts for Pittsburgh.