Diamondbacks 8, Marlins 7, 11 innings
PHOENIX (AP)—Four-hit games are rare for reserve outfielder Quinton McCracken, and he did it the hard way on Monday night.
McCracken didn’t even get in the game until the fifth inning.
Five at-bats later, he tripled in the winning run in the 11th inning with his fourth hit to give the Arizona Diamondbacks an 8-7 victory and hand the Florida Marlins their seventh loss in eight games.
“I’ve never seen that before,” teammate Tony Clark said. “I’ve never seen a guy come off the bench and get five at-bats, and I’ve never seen a guy come off the bench and get four hits.”
Clark, himself usually a reserve, loved seeing a role player like McCracken have a big night.
“It’s nice when, during the course of a year, a guy who comes to work every day and works hard can make a contribution in a big game for us,” Clark said.
McCracken added a double and had three RBIs. He matched his career high for hits in a game.
“You definitely welcome those,” he said. “That’s the role, being a bench player, that’s the job, to be able to come in and help your team win. I was fortunate enough to have a pretty decent night tonight.”
The Diamondbacks blew a four-run lead but came back to win when Kelly Stinnett had a broken-bat single off closer Todd Jones, then scored on McCracken’s one-out shot to the right-center gap to give Arizona only its third home victory in 11 games.
“I was just trying to get the base hit, keep the rally going,” McCracken said. “I was fortunate enough to guess right, and get a cutter in.”
The Marlins dropped below .500 (45-46) for the first time since April 16, when they were 5-6.
“I was proud of the way the guys kept battling back, but we couldn’t hold on,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “We were running out of pitchers, they were running out of pitchers.”
Then the 74-year-old manager let out a heavy sigh.
“It’s not easy,” he said.
Craig Counsell drove in three runs with a triple and single for Arizona.
Jones (1-4) worked two innings of relief and got the loss. Brandon Medders (1-0), the seventh pitcher used by the Diamondbacks, threw a scoreless 11th for his first major league victory.
Mike Lowell, with speculation that he’s about to be traded, had three hits, including an RBI double for Florida.
Clark’s 436-foot home run to left-center and McCracken’s two-run single put Arizona up 7-3 after seven innings.
But the Marlins scored four in the eighth to tie it.
Lowell doubled in one run and Alex Gonzalez’s infield hit brought in another off reliever Lance Cormier, who faced four batters and failed to get an out. Jose Valverde came on with runners at first and third and gave up RBI singles to Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado before getting out of the inning.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Guillermo Mota struck out pinch-hitter Luis Gonzalez and Stinnett. In the 11th, Arizona shortstop Royce Clayton made a diving, acrobatic play on Gonzalez’s grounder for a forceout at second.
Florida right fielder Jeff Conine had three hits, but misplayed Counsell’s line-drive, two-run triple in the second, then dropped Chad Tracy’s deep flyball in the fifth, accounting for Arizona’s first three runs.
With the score tied at 3 in the fifth, pinch-hitter Jose Cruz walked, Stinnett hit into a fielder’s choice and McCracken singled to set up Counsell’s
Arizona pulled within five games of idle San Diego in the NL West. … Florida RHP Josh Beckett, out with a blister on his right middle finger, threw off the mound with no pain and tentatively is scheduled to start Saturday in San Francisco. … Jason Vargas doubled in his first major league at-bat, and gave up three runs on four hits in five innings for Florida in his first major league start. … Mota had five strikeouts in two scoreless innings.