CINCINNATI (AP)—Paul Goldschmidt doesn’t keep track of his RBIs. The rest of the Diamondbacks are voluntarily doing it for him.
Goldschmidt set a Diamondbacks record with his third grand slam of the season on Tuesday night and became the first NL player to drive in 100 runs, powering Arizona to a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Goldschmidt connected in the eighth inning off J.J. Hoover, ending the reliever’s streak of 23 scoreless appearances. His 31st homer tied him with Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez for the NL lead. All of his career grand slams have come this season.
”I hope he’s got a big run left in him,” manager Kirk Gibson said. ”The team feeds off Patrick (Corbin) and Goldy. They’ve been our most consistent guys all year.”
Goldschmidt knew his RBI total was in the 90s coming into that at-bat, but didn’t realize he’d reached triple digits until he rounded the bases and his teammates pointed it out.
They don’t mind doing the counting.
”He’s impressive to watch play every day,” catcher Wil Nieves said. ”He’s so clutch. He’s unbelievable.”
Corbin (13-3) stymied Cincinnati’s lefty-dominated lineup, allowing six hits, including Chris Heisey’s two-run homer, during his second complete game. Corbin matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. He threw first-pitch strikes to 27 of the 33 batters he faced and didn’t walk a batter in his most dominating performance of the season.
”Today I had my best slider,” Corbin said. ”I felt good warming up in the bullpen. I thought it would be a good game. I knew I could go to my slider at any time.”
The left-hander shut down the Reds’ left-handed threats - Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce were a combined 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts.
”He makes some of their hitters look so bad - and they’re unbelievable hitters, especially Votto and Bruce,” Nieves said.
The Diamondbacks evened their series at a game apiece and moved five games behind the Reds for the final NL wild card berth. Arizona has won six of its last eight games.
”We’ve got some work to do,” Goldschmidt said. ”There’s some good teams ahead of us. It’s not like we’re one game behind.”
Cincinnati lost for only the fourth time in its last 14 games. A bigger concern: Tony Cingrani (6-3) left in the fourth inning with a strained lower back.
The left-hander has been filling in for Johnny Cueto, who is on the disabled list for the third time this season with soreness behind his pitching shoulder. Cingrani said his back has bothered him in his last few weeks.
”It finally bothered me enough that it was noticeable,” Cingrani said. ”I felt it before. It came on gradually. It hasn’t been this bad.”
Cingrani retired the first 10 batters before Martin Prado hit his 12th homer. One out later, Aaron Hill doubled off the wall in left-center, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. A trainer and manager Dusty Baker went to the mound to talk to Cingrani, who was replaced by Alfredo Simon.
Baker said Cingrani had kept quiet about his bad back until he had to leave the game.
”He didn’t tell me,” Baker said. ”These young guys want to stay in the big leagues and stay in the rotation.”
The defending NL Central champions were feeling good about getting their starting lineup back to full strength with Ryan Ludwick’s return last week from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him since opening day. Now, the rotation is in flux as they try to overtake Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
Cingrani’s injury spoiled a matchup of left-handers born two weeks apart in July 1989. Corbin, who is two weeks younger than Cingrani, kept the Reds off-balance with his slider.
The Diamondbacks are 21-4 when Corbin starts. He has allowed two runs or less in 19 starts this season, tied with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for most in the NL.
He got a few words from Choo after throwing a chin-high fastball to the leadoff hitter in the sixth. Plate umpire Jerry Meals stepped in, Choo pointed to chin and said something, then got back in the batter’s box without further complaint and struck out.
Notes: Fans brought more than 600 dogs to the game as part of an annual pet promotion. No fireworks were set off on Heisey’s homer so as not to scare the dogs. … Goldschmidt’s 100 RBIs match Adam LaRoche’s club record for a first baseman. … Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero, on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained lower back, felt fine a day after he caught five innings on a rehab assignment. He got the day off and will catch again on Wednesday. … RH Brandon McCarthy (2-7) starts the third game for Arizona, trying to emerge from a slump. He’s 0-4 with a 6.41 ERA in his last four starts. The Reds go with RH Mike Leake (10-5), who has a 6.12 career ERA against Arizona.
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay