Corbin Carroll, Ketel Marte and Gabriel Moreno homered off Corbin Burnes, helping Arizona erase an early three-run deficit and sending the Diamondbacks to a 6-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of their Series. NL Wild Cards on Tuesday night.
The rally put Arizona in a prime position to move forward. The second game of the best-of-three series is Wednesday, and the Diamondbacks have ace Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly lined up after rookie Brandon Pfaadt lasted just 2 2/3 innings in the opener.
Arizona, which clinched a National League wild card in the final days of the season, had been 0-14 in postseason games when trailing by at least three runs.
Carroll and Marte homered on consecutive pitches in the third, and Moreno put the Diamondbacks ahead in the fourth. Evan Longoria protected Arizona’s one-run lead in the fifth by robbing Tyrone Taylor of a bases-loaded hit and turning it into an inning-ending double play. Christian Walker provided some insurance with a two-run double off Devin Williams in the ninth.
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The NL Central champion Brewers left the bases loaded in the first and third, and failed to score after loading the bases with no one out in the fifth. Arizona’s Joe Mantiply, Miguel Castro, Ryne Nelson, Ryan Thompson, Kevin Ginkel and Paul Sewald combined for 6 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
Milwaukee appeared to have an early pitch advantage for Game 1 by virtue of clinching its playoff spot early enough to establish its postseason rotation. It wasn’t entirely like that.
Gallen pitched on Friday and Kelly on Saturday, so the Diamondbacks opted not to use them on short rest and instead start Pfaadt. Although Pfaadt allowed three runs on seven hits before departing in the third, Burnes also struggled.
The three-time All-Star and 2021 Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs in the first four innings and left with the Brewers trailing 4-3 after walking the only two batters he faced in the fifth.
Milwaukee opened a 3-0 lead with Carlos Santana’s RBI single in the first and Tyrone Taylor’s two-run homer in the second.
It looked like that might be enough for Burnes, who retired seven of Arizona’s first eight batters.
Then the momentum changed quickly.
RANGERS’ JORDAN MONTGOMERY TURNS OUT THE LIGHTNING TO TAKE GAME 1 IN WILD CARD SERIES
Carroll followed Geraldo Perdomo’s one-out single in the third with a 444-foot shot into the second level of the stands in right-center field. On Burnes’ next pitch, Marte sent a cutter over the right field wall.
After the Brewers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Moreno homered for the first time since September 2. Moreno’s 425-foot shot came on a 2-2 slider.
The Diamondbacks barely survived a shaky relief performance from Nelson, who typically starts rather than working out of the bullpen.
Sal Frelick and Willy Adames led off the sixth with back-to-back singles. Nelson then walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases for Brice Turang.
It was initially ruled that Nelson’s first pitch to Turang hit him around the foot, which would have led to the tying run. But the Diamondbacks challenged the call and it was overturned in a replay review.
Turang struck out and Thompson got the last two outs on a big assist from Longoria. Taylor’s screaming liner was grabbed by Longoria, who threw from his knees to double Adames at second.
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Arizona outfielder Jake McCarthy was removed from the Wild Card Series team’s roster shortly before the start of Game 1 due to a right oblique strain. Utility Jace Peterson replaced McCarthy on the roster.
Under MLB postseason rules, McCarthy would not be able to play for the Diamondbacks until the National League Championship Series, if they make it that far.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Gallen (17-9, 3.47 ERA) pitches for Arizona in Game 2. Freddy Peralta (12-10, 3.86 ERA) starts for Milwaukee.