Indians 6, Diamondbacks 3
PHOENIX (AP)—Brandon Phillips practiced, prayed and finally went back to basics to end his slump.
Phillips snapped an 0-for-29 string with a go-ahead single in the sixth inning that helped the Cleveland Indians to their first interleague win this year, 6-3 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
“It was about time I got a hit,” Phillips said. “Eventually, I just went out there and tried to put the bat on the ball, and the next thing you know I got a hit.”
Arizona starter Edgar Gonzalez (1-1), at 20 the youngest player in the major leagues, gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings. Gonzalez, who beat San Diego last weekend in his major league debut, struck out five and walked one.
“He did all right through the middle innings, but then he started to get a lot of pitches up,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said.
“We took advantage of some opportunities, and that’s what we have to do,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We had some real strong at-bats today. We made them work a little bit, and we were able to get some big hits in a timely fashion.”
“It’s good to get some offense started, especially with guys in scoring position,” Hammock said. “It sparked the team a little bit, but we just came up short.”
Cleveland trailed 3-2 when Gerut led off the sixth with his second double of the game, and scored on singles by Broussard and Blake.
One out later, Gonzalez threw an inside pitch that appeared to glance off Phillips’ bat and down behind the plate. Phillips grabbed his left hand and was attended to by a trainer while Wedge argued that Phillips should have been awarded first base.
“He got hit on the hand, but he (plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt) said that he swung,” Wedge said. “In my opinion he didn’t swing, but that’s that. I mean, Brandon stepped up and got a big hit for us right there.”
Back in the box, Phillips lined a single to left for only his fourth RBI since May 20.
“We had some great defensive plays,” Davis said. “Phillips came up with a good hit there in the late innings, and we just kind of went from there. Like you said, timely hitting and great defense.”
Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the first on opposite-field doubles to left by Matt Lawton and Gerut around a single by Burks.
Luis Gonzalez had a run-scoring single in the bottom half, and Arizona went ahead on Hammock’s double in the fourth, which came after Phillips botched a flip to Vizquel at second base on Shea Hillenbrand’s grounder to second.
“I just had to keep my level head out there,” Phillips said. “There’s crazier things going on in this world other than baseball. If I do somethingbad, I just learn from my mistakes.”
Both teams started without their regular CFs. Arizona’s Steve Finley missed a second straight start because of a cramped hamstring, and Cleveland’s Milton Bradley was held out as a precaution after straining his lower abdomen Thursday. … Gerut, a rookie who extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games, was Bradley’s replacement. … Vizquel’s stolen base was his 298th. … Wendelstedt ejected Wedge for a comment after Phillips’ hit. Wedgedenied making a wisecrack.