Some late-game heroics helped the Arizona Diamondbacks put an end to a losing streak.
The Diamondbacks (38-33) won 3-2 Tuesday on Paul Goldschmidt’s walkoff home run, ending a season-high tying four-game slide as well as the Marlins’ three-game win streak. Goldschmidt’s homer was his 17th of the season and the second game-ending home run of his career.
Goldschmidt had been 2 for 13 during the skid, though he homered in Monday’s 3-2 defeat to Miami (22-48). Arizona, which hasn’t won back-to-back games since June 4 and 5, also played error-free baseball Tuesday after committing one in each of the last four contests.
“Any time it’s a walkoff, whether it’s you or one of the other guys, it’s fun,” Goldschmidt said.
Martin Prado also drove in two with a fourth-inning homer for the Diamondbacks, who’ll be getting their first look at Fernandez (4-3, 3.11 ERA).
The right-hander’s ERA ranks third among rookie starters, and he’s also second in strikeouts (77) and opponents’ batting average (.210).
“He’s so polished for a young pitcher,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “It’s amazing how good his secondary pitches are.”
The 20-year-old Cuban defector has been dominant through his last three starts, going 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 20 innings. He limited St. Louis to three runs through seven innings while striking out 10 - the first pitcher younger than 21 with double-digit strikeouts since Felix Hernandez did it in 2007 - in Friday’s 5-4 win.
Still, Fernandez doesn’t seem to quite grasp how good he has been, finding himself star-struck at times.
“One of the special moments in the game: The first time I went up to hit, Yadier Molina was catching,” he said. “I look up to that guy. When they won the World Series, I saw him catch and I said, ‘Man, I wish one day I could shake his hand.’”
Fernandez matches up with Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.96), who is winless in his last five starts.
Cahill matched a career high with 10 strikeouts while allowing two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings in Friday’s 2-1 loss at San Diego after yielding 13 runs over 8 2-3 innings in his previous two outings.
The Diamondbacks have supplied Cahill with one or zero runs of support in four of his last five outings.
“Right from the get-go he was pretty darn good,” said bench coach Alan Trammel, who acted as Arizona’s manager while Kirk Gibson served a one-game suspension. “You can’t fault anyone for one inning or a few hitters. It goes back to the offense that scored one run.”
Cahill is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts versus Miami. He matched a season best by throwing eight innings while holding the Marlins to one run and five hits in a 9-2 victory on May 17.
Arizona’s Miguel Montero was 0 for 2 with a walk Tuesday after going 9 for 20 in his previous five games.