CINCINNATI (AP) — Arizona’s bats needed time to wake up.
They got it from the Diamondbacks’ bullpen.
A.J. Pollock drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning as the Diamondbacks came back from a 4-0, second-inning deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in the opener of a four-game series before a crowd of 22,063 on Thursday night.
“The bats were a little stale at the start, but as the game went on, the quality of our at-bats got better,” said Pollock, who finished with four hits and has a nine-game hitting streak against the Reds (.454, 15 for 33). “The bullpen keeping us in the game was huge.”
Chris Owings homered and drove in two runs as Arizona sent the Reds to their sixth consecutive loss.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases against Burke Badenhop (1-3) on Yasmany Tomas’ single, Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s pinch-hit double and Ender Inciarte’s walk, setting up Pollock’s two-out groundball single up the middle.
“They did a nice job of two-strike hitting,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It started with a flare by Tomas.”
“I had a chance to get out of it,” Badenhop said. “I made a bad pitch to Saltalamacchia, who isn’t having a good year. It was a bad 0-2 pitch. I just didn’t throw it well.”
Josh Collmenter retired all nine batters he faced and Andrew Chafin, David Hernandez (1-3) and Daniel Hudson each turned in a scoreless inning before Brad Ziegler pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Reds’ rookie John Lamb, who went six innings in his major league debut last Friday, lasted 5 1-3 innings in his second career start. The left-hander allowed nine hits and three runs with eight strikeouts.
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin (3-4) lasted just two innings. The left-hander allowed eight hits and four runs with two strikeouts.
The Reds, who scored a combined four runs while losing a two-game series to Kansas City on Tuesday and Wednesday, scored that many over the first two innings on Thursday.
Jason Bourgeois led off the first with a single to center and scored on Jay Bruce’s sacrifice fly. The Reds added three runs on five hits in the second, including RBI singles by Tucker Barnhart and Eugenio Suarez sandwiched around Bourgeois’s run-scoring triple.
Lamb lost his shutout in the fifth, allowing Owings’ fourth homer of the season leading off the inning and a two-out run-scoring single by Pollock. Owings added an RBI single in the sixth.
“The way it started, there weren’t a whole lot of people here, and we couldn’t get anything going,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said. “The guys kept competing. I’m very proud of them.”
Sending RHP Jeremy Hellickson to the DL prompted Hale to adjust his pitching rotation, creating a spot on Saturday for RHP Randall Delgado, who had pitched exclusively in relief this season. Delgado has 47 career starts among his 135 appearances. “It’s not like he did anything in spring training to not start,” Hale said. “We just thought he fit better in the bullpen.”
Left-handed hitting Brennan Boesch and right-hander Jason Bourgeois will get the bulk o the playing time in left field in the wake of Marlon Byrd being traded to the Giants before Thursday’s game, general manager Walt Jocketty said. That might depend on how long Billy Hamilton takes to come back from the shoulder injury that sent him to the DL on Wednesday.
Diamondbacks: Hopes that Hellickson’s left hamstring injury wasn’t too severe were dashed when he couldn’t throw on the side on Wednesday, prompting Arizona to place him on the 15-day DL.
Reds: INF Brandon Phillips was available to pinch-hit or pinch-run on Thursday, one day after leaving Cincinnati’s 4-3 loss to Kansas City with inflammation in his right biceps tendon.