CINCINNATI (AP)—After perhaps the worst performance of his career last Sunday in Atlanta, Javier Vazquez was looking for a little redemption.
He found it Saturday night in Cincinnati.
Facing a Reds team that scored 17 runs on 15 hits one night earlier, Vazquez allowed one run in eight innings and Tony Clark hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth to send the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-2 win.
“We needed it for the team and I needed it for myself,” said Vazquez, who tied a career high by allowing nine runs in two-plus innings of a 13-8 loss to the Braves last Sunday. “I felt good all around, but nothing special. I was just trying to stay back.”
“I totally put way too much pressure on myself, and it hurt me,” Standridge said. “That’s why I walked Clayton. I was trying to aim the ball, instead of being aggressive. My mental preparation wasn’t what it needed to be. I was trying to be preventative. I was thinking, I want to keep them from scoring runs, instead of saying, just go after them.”
Clark followed with his 22nd homer, a 416-foot shot into the right-field bleachers, which didn’t surprise Arizona manager Bob Melvin.
“Tony’s been coming up with those hits all year,” Melvin said. “I don’t think anybody has as many big hits as he has.”
Standridge promised a different approach the next time interim manager Jerry Narron calls on him.
“My thought process will be totally different,” Standridge said. “The next time he gives me the ball, I’m going to pound the zone.”
Arizona improved to 4-7 on its season-long 12-game road trip, which ends Sunday.
“Javier did it,” said Clark, who also doubled in the sixth to snap a 2-for-15 slump. “He gave us what we needed after last night and after his last start. He’s an unbelievable talent. Him stepping up was huge tonight.”
Cincinnati has lost five of seven.
Vazquez (10-12), who lost his three previous starts, gave up a first-inning run before settling down to allow only three baserunners over the next seven innings, all on singles. Two were erased on double plays.
“After his last start, I felt like he wanted to get back out there—he was anxious to get back out there,” Melvin said.
Vazquez needed only 77 pitches to get through eight innings. He allowed five hits and one walk with six strikeouts to match Brandon Webb for the team lead in wins.
“Vazquez was the most efficient pitcher we’ve seen this year,” Narron said. “He was outstanding. He was around the strike zone and had good movement. We were hitting balls early in the count right at them.”
Arizona added two runs in the ninth on a throwing error by catcher Javier Valentin and an RBI single by Clayton.
The Diamondbacks put runners on base in every inning except two against Harang, but they ended up stranding six of seven.
Harang went seven innings, allowing six hits and one run with one walk and three strikeouts.
“I didn’t have everything tonight, but I was able to work through it,” he said.
The Reds scored in the first on Sean Casey’s RBI double with two outs.
Cincinnati slugger Adam Dunn went 0-for-3, extending his slump to 4-for-24 (.167). … Ken Griffey Jr. went 2-for-4 and has 14 hits in his last 27 at-bats (.519). … Arizona’s Craig Counsell stole two bases to push his career best to 21. His previous high was 17 for Milwaukee last season. … Harang went 0-for-2, extending his streak of hitless at-bats to 49, the most in the majors since San Diego’s Andy Benes was 0-for-50 in 1991. … Clayton has reached base in 19 consecutive games.