Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 3
PHOENIX (AP)—Danny Bautista is taking his role seriously as one of Arizona’s few remaining veteran leaders.
Bautista hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Diamondbacks beat the Florida Marlins 5-3 Tuesday night to win at home for the first time in nearly a month.
Arizona had lost 11 straight home games, a team record, since beating Minnesota 6-2 on July 4. Shea Hillenbrand also homered for the Diamondbacks, who won for only the third time in 22 games overall.
“We have been playing the game longer than a lot of the guys we have now,” Bautista said of himself and Hillenbrand. “We need to stay positive and tell them to keep playing hard.”
“I was ready for anything in the strike zone,” Bautista said. “He threw a good pitch and I hit it well.”
“At this point we don’t really care who gets the win,” Koplove said. “You could see we had a little bit of spark and that’s what it’s going to take for us.”
Willis lost for the second time in three starts, allowing four runs and eight hits.
Arizona starter Casey Fossum gave up three runs, seven hits and a season-high five walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Florida has lost three straight overall and nine in a row against teams with losing records.
Paul Lo Duca, acquired from Los Angeles last weekend, was 3-for-3 with two walks and is 4-for-5 since joining the Marlins. He scored the game’s first run in the fourth when he singled and came home on Miguel Cabrera’s single.
“I don’t know about hitting the ground running but I hope he keeps hitting the ball,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said. “He’s done a good job for us but he can’t do it all himself.”
Arizona took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. After Green’s leadoff double, Bautista singled to right. Green stopped at third as Juan Encarnacion’s sailed his throw over the cutoff man toward Lo Duca, just in front of home plate. Willis, standing a couple of feet toward the first-base line, lunged to his right, and the ball deflected off the top of Willis’ glove to the backstop for an error that allowed Green to score. Luis Terrero singled one out later.
“It was just a bonehead play by me,” Willis said. “I didn’t know he was behind me, and I should have been behind the plate anyway. I saw the runner advancing at the last minute and reached up with my hand. It was just a bad play.”
Alex Gonzalez’s RBI triple off the center-field wall tied the score in the sixth, but Hillenbrand’s two-out homer gave Arizona a 3-2 lead in the bottom half.
“Overall, we did everything right tonight to win the game,” Arizona manager Al Pedrique said. “We did a lot of good things. Fundamental-wise we were solid.”
Lo Duca retied it with an RBI double in the seventh off Elmer Dessens.
“That cost us a run,” McKeon said.
Willis’ error was his second of the year. … The Diamondbacks recalled Green from Triple-A Tucson to replace OF Luis Gonzalez, who had season-ending elbow surgery Monday. Green went 2-for-4 with a run scored. … Florida activated RHP Ismael Valdez prior to Tuesday’s game. Valdez, acquired July 31 from San Diego, was 9-6 with a 5.53 ERA for the Padres.