Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4
Davis pitched eight sharp innings, Conor Jackson drove in four runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks survived Valverde’s shaky ninth to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Monday night for their fifth straight win.
Ryan Howard’s homer in the seventh was the only run off Davis for the Phillies, who wasted Freddy Garcia’s longest outing of the season. It was Howard’s ninth of the season and third in the last two games.
Davis (3-6) allowed seven hits, struck out five and didn’t issue a walk to get his first win since April 27. The Diamondbacks are averaging just 3.3 runs when Davis pitches, one reason why he has a losing record despite a 3.27 ERA.
Relying on a slow curve that kept hitters off balance all night, the left-hander didn’t need much after Jackson’s two-run homer made it 2-0 in the first inning.
“I saw some bad swings on the curveball,” Davis said. “I had a plan and I wanted to execute it.”
The Phillies rallied against Valverde, getting a pinch-hit three-run homer from Greg Dobbs to cut it to 5-4. Pat Burrell followed with a pinch-hit single and Michael Bourn, who ran for Burrell, advanced to third when Carlos Ruiz’s grounder went through first baseman Jackson’s legs.
“I had a (Bill) Buckner moment there,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t expecting a ground ball from a right-handed hitter in that situation. It was a mental error on my part.”
Arizona manager Bob Melvin then pulled Valverde for Brandon Lyon, who retired pinch-hitter Rod Barajas for his second save. Barajas, who ran across the field from the bullpen during Ruiz’s at-bat, flew out to the warning track in right.
“He’s been unbelievable all year,” Melvin said of Valverde, who has 18 saves. “They had some good at-bats off him. It’s going to happen.”
The Diamondbacks improved to a season-best seven games over .500.
Garcia (1-4) gave up three runs and seven hits, striking out a season-high nine in eight innings. A two-time All-Star, Garcia has been a big disappointment in his first season with the Phillies. He hadn’t lasted more than six innings in any of his previous eight starts.
“His command was better,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
Garcia quickly ran into trouble in the first. Eric Byrnes led off with a single and Jackson followed with a two-run shot to left field.
Carlos Quentin’s sacrifice fly in the fourth gave Arizona a 3-0 lead. Mark Reynolds doubled off Shane Victorino’s glove in right-center to start the inning, went to third on Stephen Drew’s sacrifice and barely scored ahead of a strong, no-hop strike by Victorino from deep right field on Quentin’s fly.
Jackson added a two-run double off Ryan Madson in the ninth.
The Phillies had chances against Davis, but twice left runners on third with less than two outs.
Three singles loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Manuel allowed Garcia to bat for himself, even though Burrell and Wes Helms were on the bench. Garcia bounced into a double play on the first pitch.
“I wouldn’t have hit for him if I had (Harmon) Killebrew on the bench,” Manuel said. “He was throwing fine. I felt like we were going to score runs.”
Davis is 1-5 on the road. … Howard, who connected twice on Sunday in Atlanta, has three homers since coming off the disabled list Friday. … Burrell’s hit snapped an 0-for-17 slump.