PHOENIX -- Down to their final two outs once and their final out another time, the D-backs found a way to pull off an improbable 4-3 win over the Rangers in 11 innings Monday night at Chase Field.
“That’s probably one of the best wins I’ve ever been a part of,” D-backs outfielder Tommy Pham said.
Pham was wearing the D-backs “victory vest” while he said that. The vest, which is handed out to the player who most contributes to a win, was well deserved for Pham, who ended the game with a two-out, two-run double to the gap in right-center.
The win was the eighth in the last 10 games for the surging D-backs, who pulled to within half a game of the final NL Wild Card spot.
The D-backs went with an opener on Monday, using lefty Joe Mantiply to record the first two outs before turning to another reliever Scott McGough to get the final out of the first. McGough also pitched the second before turning things over to bulk pitcher Slade Cecconi.
Locked in a duel with Texas lefty Jordan Montgomery, who kept Arizona scoreless over eight innings, six D-backs pitchers allowed just one run through the first 10 innings to a potent Rangers offense.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy turned the game over to Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. With one out, Ketel Marte hit a homer to left to tie the game on a splitter.
“I didn't go up there looking for a fastball,” Marte said. “I knew he wasn’t going to give me a fastball. I went up there looking for the breaking ball. It came and I planted my back foot and I hit it.”
That Marte homer made an impression on Bochy and would factor into a crucial decision two innings later.
After the Rangers scored a pair of runs in the 11th off Kevin Ginkel, Rangers lefty Will Smith retired the first two hitters of the inning.
That brought the switch-hitting Marte up to the plate, and Bochy went with the unconventional move of intentionally walking him to put the tying run on base (Gabriel Moreno, the automatic runner, was on second).
“He’s so good right-handed, that’s why I put him on there in that inning,” Bochy said. “[Chapman] made a mistake there. … I decided to put Marte on the next time.”
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was a little surprised by the move.
“I think Boch is a baseball genius,” Lovullo said. “And he was probably playing some deeper odds, thinking about it a little bit differently. I just thought it was a little risky, putting the tying run on base, and I would have said that whether we won the game or not. And I’m not second guessing the man, he’s tremendous, he’s done a lot of things right in this game and he has a great instinct for the game. So was I a little surprised? Yes, but not totally.”
After the intentional walk, Geraldo Perdomo laced a double to right to score one run and put runners on second and third for Pham, who ended things with his double.
“As you can see, this team has a lot of heart,” Pham said. “So I’m just trying to contribute and do what I can to help the team win. Do my part and go from there.”