In a game in which 15 runs were scored, it may be difficult to point to one play as catalyst for an eventual victory
Clearly, the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks were in need of any sort of boost, incentive or drive to save a moribund week. In dropping five in a row and six of seven, manager A. J. Hinch told reporters earlier in the week his team had not played a complete game in several days.
Yet, one play appeared to jump start an offense capable of scoring while, at the same time, put the D-Backs in a position to gain some success. The result was an energized 9-7, come from behind over the St. Louis Cardinals before 19,855 Tuesday night at Chase Field.
In all, the D-Backs banged out a season-high 15 hits, added six extra base hits and parlayed starting pitcher Dan Haren’s 4-for-4 night at the plate into their sixth win of the season.
“We could have folded against that team, but we didn’t,” Hinch said afterward. “This team can hit, and we showed that. Everyone contributed, and for Haren, that was the most complete game I have seen out him in a long time.”
The play which jumped started the D-Backs created a lead early. After the Cardinals used the long ball to forge an advanatge, the D-Backs responded.
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the third, leftfielder Gerardo Parra tied the game with a two run double. Catcher Chris Snyder, hitting behind Parra, laced a single to center and Bo Porter, the D-Backs third base coach, raised his arms in an effort to stop Parra at third. In total defiance, Parra ran right through the stop sign and his run created a 5-4 Arizona lead through three.
Hinch indicated that the Parra run was but one sign throughout an encouraging night.
Early in the game, Haren was roughed up, and allowed two home runs to rightfielder Ryan Ludwick and a solo shot off the bat of Albert Pujols. After the D-Backs gained the lead in the lead in the third, the Cards then jumped all over Haren for a three spot in the fourth, and a 7-5 advantage.
True to Hinch’s claim of resiliency, third baseman Mark Reynolds followed with a three run bomb, and the D-Backs took the lead, at 8-7, for good after four frames.
That’s when Haren and relievers Juan Gutierrez and closer Chad Qualls retired the final 16 St. Louis hitters in order to close the game.
For his effort, Haren picked up his second win of the season, and also went 4 for 4. That was only the second pitcher in D-Backs history to do that. Previous, Micah Owings had two, four hit games and the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano was the last pitcher to collect four hits in a game. He did that on May 23, 2008 at Pittsburgh.
“I think I would have taken six scoreless innings over a four hit game,” Haren said. “Giving up runs early was not good for my confidence. I kept thinking, am I giving up 10 runs, 12 runs? What’s going on here? But, I wanted to go as many innings as I could and made less mistakes in the later innings.”
The offense was powered Haren’ four hits and a three double night from Kelly Johnson, the D-Backs second baseman. Johnson tied a career mark with those three doubles in a game, and is hitting .341 over his last 12 games.
In all, four players had multi-hit games and Qualls managed to pick up his second save of the season.
“I like the way we came back,” said Johnson. “They scored, we countered and that’s something we have not done before. This was a big win for us, a good win and time to move forward.”
The D-Backs close out the Cardinals series Wednesday night with Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.50) going against St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter (2-0, 3.50). Then, the Philadelphia Phillies, reigning National League champions, pay their only Chase Field visit this season over the coming weekend.