PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks sputtered for eight innings, momentum from a big weekend seemingly gone. Ketel Marte came through with a clutch homer.
Arizona was down again in the 11th inning, trailing by two runs. Tommy Pham, one of the team’s newest members, lifted the Diamondbacks to the type of victory they could look back on come playoff time.
Pham lined a two-run double in the 11th inning after Marte hit a tying homer in the ninth, lifting the Diamondbacks to a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
“As you can see, this team has a lot of heart,” said Pham, who was traded from the New York Mets at the deadline. “I’m just trying to contribute, do what I can to help the team win, do my part and go from there.”
The Rangers led 1-0 going into the ninth inning after Adolis Garcia hit his 31st homer and Jordan Montgomery scattered four hits over eight sterling innings.
Texas manager Bruce Bochy went with Aroldis Chapman over Will Smith (1-5) to close out the game — and it backfired. Marte hit the first pitch he saw out to left for a solo homer to tie the game.
The Rangers went up 3-1 on Nathaniel Lowe's two-run single off Kevin Ginkel (7-0) in the 11th and sent out Smith for the bottom half.
That didn't go well, either.
Geraldo Perdomo hit a two-out, run-scoring double after Marte was intentionally walked, then Pham dropped a two-run double in right-center for Arizona's eighth win in 10 games. The Diamondbacks pulled within a half-game of San Francisco for the final NL wild card spot.
“We’ve walked through some some tough, tough days,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’re slowly coming out the other end by no means taking anything for granted.”
The Rangers' bullpen woes spoiled Montgomery's dominating night and sent them to their season-high fifth straight loss. Texas' lead in the AL West dropped to 1 1/2 games over Houston.
“That's a tough one to let get away,” Bochy said. “But nobody said this was going to be easy and we've got to bounce back.”
Arizona got an unexpected day off after Sunday's game at San Diego was turned into a Saturday doubleheader due to Hurricane Hilary.
The Diamondbacks swept the doubleheader, keeping them close in the NL wild card race.
The extra day didn't help them much against Montgomery.
The big left-hander has pitched well since being acquired from the Cardinals on July 30, going 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts.
He was sharp again in the desert.
Montgomery didn’t allow a hit until Marte’s flare single to lead off the fourth inning and erased another single in the fifth with a double play. He erased another single with a double play in the eighth inning.
“Felt like I was throwing the ball well,” Montgomery said. “Got a couple of quick outs, kept my pitch count down to give me the opportunity.”
The game was halted briefly in the seventh inning as water from a passing storm leaked through the roof in front of home plate.
Arizona pitcher Slade Cecconi said something to plate umpire Doug Eddings while looking up and a member of the grounds walked out with a rake.
After a conversation with Cecconi, Eddings waved the crew member back. The storm passed and the roof didn’t leak again.
“Slade could see it and he and the umpire were fairly locked in on it, but they may have been the only two,” Lovullo said. “I didn't know it was raining until the groundskeeper came out.”
Rangers: All-Star RHP Nathan Eovaldi threw to live hitters during batter practice as he eyes a return from a right forearm strain. He's been on the injured list since pitching against Tampa Bay on July 18.
Diamondbacks: 3B Evan Longoria (strained lower back) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and went 1 for 3 as Arizona's DH. OF Kyle Lewis was optioned to Triple-A Reno.
Texas RHP Jon Gray (8-6, 3.52 ERA) faces Arizona RHP Zac Gallen (13-5, 3.17) in the series finale on Tuesday.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb