Snake Bit: D-Backs Force a Game Five
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) _ Counted out by most everyone else, the Arizona
Diamondbacks are in position to complete another comeback. And this
one could be the greatest of the bunch.
Ryan Roberts hit a grand slam, Chris Young had the first
two-homer game in Arizona’s postseason history and Diamondbacks
beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-6 Wednesday night to force Game 5 in
the NL division series.
“We’re not going to give up, even when we’re down 2-0,” said
Young, who drove in three runs. “In the clubhouse, we still
believed we could do it. At the time our goal was to get back to
Milwaukee. We’ve reached that, so it’s a toss-up now. We’re going
to be ready to go.”
A day after rolling over the Brewers 8-1, the Diamondbacks
struck quickly and often in Game 4, scoring five runs in the first
inning off Randy Wolf. The Diamondbacks became the second team _
with the 1977 Dodgers _ to hit grand slams in consecutive playoff
Arizona evened the series at 2-all and sent it back to Milwaukee
for the decisive game Friday. It will be a rematch of Game 1
between 21-game winner Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks and fellow
right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Written off by many after being outscored 13-5 in the first two
games, baseball’s best rally team _ 48 comeback wins during the
regular season _ has put itself in position to become just the
eighth team overall to win a best-of-five series after trailing
“We had confidence all year, we had confidence when we were
down 0-2,” Roberts said. “Anything can happen, that’s why you
play this set of five.”
Aaron Hill hit a solo shot for Arizona’s first four-homer game
in the postseason. Pinch hitter Collin Cowgill added a two-run
single and the bullpen held on after a less-than-crisp outing by
starter Joe Saunders, preventing Milwaukee from winning a
postseason series for the first time since reaching the 1982 World
Of the four opening-round playoff series, three are going to
Game 5. Detroit visits the New York Yankees on Thursday night and
St. Louis is at Philadelphia on Friday night. The only other time a
trio of division matchups went the distance was 2001, the year
Arizona won the World Series.
“This team is resilient,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
“We’re going to play hard and I expect this team to have a real
good game on Friday.”
The NL West champion Diamondbacks punctuated their
worst-to-first finish with grand slams in their final two home
games of the regular season, then kept slamming ’em at Chase Field
in the playoffs.
Paul Goldschmidt was the star in Game 3, becoming the third
rookie ever to hit a grand slam in the playoffs. He had the crowd
buzzing when he strode to the plate against Wolf with the bases
loaded in the first inning. He couldn’t come, through; Wolf struck
him out looking.
Roberts sure did, though, lining his second grand slam in four
home games over the wall in left. The shot had the crowd roaring
and got his teammates out of the dugout doing “The Snake,” a
Miguel Montero-created move that involves cupping the right hand
and making a striking motion _ like, well, a snake head.
Roberts’ drive made Arizona the first team in major league
history to hit grand slams in four straight home games (regular and
postseason), according to STATS LLC and the SABR home run log.
“In that situation, I just wanted to get on base, not try do
anything too much,” Roberts said. “Just see a pitch in that I
could drive and put a pretty good swing on it.”
Young followed with a shot to give the Diamondbacks back-to-back
homers for the first time in their postseason history, then
celebrated with a snake strike after putting Arizona up 5-1.
Wolf, 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in two starts against Arizona during
the regular season, lasted just two more innings after allowing
seven runs on eight hits.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the D-backs,”
Roenicke said. “I think Wolfy, when he gets in trouble, his
location isn’t there, and you saw that in the first inning.”
Cowgill pushed Arizona up 7-3 with a two-run single in the
third, Hill hit his solo homer in the sixth and Young lifted a
two-run shot in the seventh.
Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer off David Hernandez in the
eighth to cut Arizona’s lead to 10-6, but it was too late for the
NOTES: With a solo homer in Game 1 and a grand slam in Game 2,
Goldschmidt joined Shane Spencer (Yankees, 1998) to hit homers in
his first two postseason games, according to information provided
to the Diamondbacks by the Elias Sports Bureau. … Despite a cool
night outside _ 79 degrees at game time _ the roof at Chase Field
remained closed. … Ron Cey and Dusty Baker hit grand slams for
the Dodgers in games 1 and 2 of the 1977 NLCS. … The most recent
team to rally from an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-five series was
Boston against Oakland in the 2003 ALDS.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)