Diamondbacks 6, Royals 5, 10 innings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Fifty-one pitches is generally a series’ worth of work for a closer.

For Matt Mantei, it was one outing.

Mantei blew a save in the ninth inning Thursday, ending a career-best streak of 14 converted opportunities. He got the win in the 10th when Lyle Overbay’s pinch-hit single scored Craig Counsell, lifting Arizona to a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals and snapping the Diamondbacks’ five-game losing streak.

“I haven’t thrown that many pitches in three or four years,” said Mantei, who started the ninth and stayed on through the 10th. “They made me throw a lot of those pitches, though. I’d get ahead of a guy, 0-1, 0-2, but I couldn’t finish them off.”

Counsell led off with a bunt single against Kris Wilson (5-3) and went to second when second baseman Julius Matos threw the ball away for an error. Overbay followed with a single up the middle.

“I was just trying to make a play, and it didn’t work out for us,” said Matos, who entered in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement. “There’s really nothing more you can say about it.”

Alex Cintron’s RBI single off Al Levine in the eighth inning gave the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead, but Ken Harvey’s sacrifice fly off Mantei (5-3) tied it at 5 in the bottom of the ninth.

With one out, Mantei walked Carlos Beltran and Raul Ibanez. Both moved up on a double steal, and Beltran—after a slow start from third—slid under Chad Moeller’s tag after Harvey’s short fly to right fielder Danny Bautista.

With two outs in the 10th, Mantei gave up a single to Aaron Guiel and walked Joe Randa before getting Mike Sweeney to pop out.

“You don’t see many closers come into a game and throw 51 pitches,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. “That’s not what we expect of him, and he’s probably burned for tomorrow night, but this was a game we needed to win.”

Brenly later said that Mantei, who has 21 saves in 24 opportunities, could still be available for Friday’s game against San Francisco.

The Royals, who stranded 13 runners and issued eight walks (five by the bullpen), fell 1 1/2 games back of idle AL Central co-leaders Chicago and Minnesota.

Cintron went 3-for-5 for Arizona, which moved within five games of the NL wild-card lead.

The interleague game was a makeup of one rained out on June 12.

Randy Johnson lasted only five innings for Arizona, but the Diamondbacks’ three-run rally in the seventh forced a 4-all tie and kept the Big Unit’s winning streak over the Royals at nine straight.

Johnson was charged with four runs, and the 10 hits against him matched his season high. He had two walks and three strikeouts before Oscar Villareal took over for the sixth and seventh innings.

“They hit a lot of my off-speed pitches today,” Johnson said. “I had to throw a lot of pitches down the middle of the plate, because that’s where the strike zone was today.”

Kansas City starter Brad Voyles left with a 4-1 lead but was denied his first major league win. He gave up one run on four hits in five innings, walking three and striking out three before D.J. Carraso relieved him to start the sixth.

Carrasco gave up three hits and two walks and hit a batter with a pitch in the Diamondbacks’ three-run seventh. Luis Gonzalez chased him with a two-run single, then scored on Shea Hillenbrand’s sacrifice fly off Jason Grimsley.

Guiel had four hits, and Beltran added three for the Royals. Randa went 0-for-5, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.

Guiel, who went 3-for-3 against Johnson, homered leading off the first. After Kata’s RBI single in the top of the third tied it at 1, Guiel doubled and scored on Beltran’s sacrifice fly in the bottom half to put the Royals ahead 2-1.

Harvey and Angel Berroa both had RBI singles in the fifth for a 4-1 lead.

Notes

Bautista was thrown out at the plate to end the second inning when he tried to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer. Beltran, who had the ball go off his arm after a long run in deep center, threw to second baseman Mendy Lopez, who relayed to catcher Tom Prince for the tag. … Beltran also stole second base in the ninth inning and seventh, his first steal since July 25 and first attempt since Aug. 2. … The Royals purchased the contract of RHP Jamey Wright from Triple-A Omaha. He is scheduled to start Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader at Anaheim. Wright was 3-5 with a 3.64 ERA in 13 starts for Omaha. He will be Kansas City’s 15th starter this season. … It was the Royals’ firstone-game homestand since playing Seattle on April 28, 1998.

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